The exhibition examines and celebrates work by artists on both sides of the border—American and Mexican-American—to reveal a variety of cultural aspects as they emerged in the years after the Mexican Revolution (1910–1920) to the present day. This unique survey of over 100 works takes a close look at paintings, prints and photographs created over the past eighty years. The works included are by some of the best-known Mexican artists—Diego Rivera, Rufino Tamayo, Gabriel Orozco, Manuel Alvarez Bravo, David Alfaro Siqueiros and Gunther Gerzso—as well as Mexican-American artists such as Judithe Hernandez, Roberto Juarez and Robert Graham. Visitors to the Miradas exhibition will have the opportunity to observe the works of a number of artists who have been attracted to and inspired by Mexico’s ancient civilizations and modern artistic theories alike.
Many artists of Mexican descent working in the United States continue to implement social ideas and educational theories first taken up by modern Mexican artists at the end of the Mexican Revolution. They also understand and react to the sociopolitical climate in the United States and the global art and theories of the second half of the twentieth century, incorporating contemporary regional politics along with their broad understanding of their diverse heritages. The Miradas exhibition allows visitors to survey this rich trajectory.
Credit: Exhibition overview from museum website
Whether or not you go, Mexican Painters: Rivera, Orozco, Siqueiros, and Other Artists of the Social Realist School explores the culture that evolved after the Mexican Revolution — the artists, their works, the social and political background, and the relationship of the modern painters to European and Mexican historical tradition. The author, an important collector who knew most of the artists, writes informally yet with deep understanding about the major figures — Orozco, Rivera, and Siqueiros — as well as over 40 others little known outside their native Mexico -- ably bringing together many diverse influences.
Besides the Revolution and the regime of Obregón, these include the Siqueiros Syndicate and its power in getting artists to pool resources and works for a powerful national style, Rivera's strong political beliefs and their effect on his work, Orozco's deep empathy, the development of the young artists, the effects of low wages and bohemian existence on artistic production, links to Indian art, the rediscovery of fresco technique, important patrons, and the religious and anti-religious forces in the early works. In addition, 95 works by 37 artists are reproduced, showing the range and best works of modern Mexican painting.