Diego Rivera: Murals for The Museum of Modern Art

Overview

In 1931, Diego Rivera was the subject of The Museum of Modern Art's second monographic exhibition, which set new attendance records in its five-week run. The Museum brought Rivera to New York six weeks before the show's opening and gave him on-site studio space. There he produced five "portable murals" --large blocks of frescoed plaster, slaked lime and wood that feature bold images drawn from Mexican subject matter and address themes of revolution and class inequity. After the opening, to great publicity, Rivera...
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Overview

In 1931, Diego Rivera was the subject of The Museum of Modern Art's second monographic exhibition, which set new attendance records in its five-week run. The Museum brought Rivera to New York six weeks before the show's opening and gave him on-site studio space. There he produced five "portable murals" --large blocks of frescoed plaster, slaked lime and wood that feature bold images drawn from Mexican subject matter and address themes of revolution and class inequity. After the opening, to great publicity, Rivera added three more murals, now taking on New York subjects through monumental images of the urban working class and the city during the Great Depression. Published in conjunction with an exhibition that brings together key works made for Rivera's 1931 show, this catalogue casts the artist as a highly cosmopolitan figure who traveled between Russia, Mexico and the United States and examines the intersection of artmaking and radical politics in the 1930s. Illustrated with reproductions of each panel as well as related paintings, drawings, prints and documentary photographs, the book's essays investigate the international politics of muralism, Rivera's history with MoMA, the iconography of the portable murals and technical aspects of the artist's working process.
Diego Rivera (1886-1957) was a central figure in the development of Mexican muralism, an ambitious public art initiative intended to relay Mexico's ideals after the Revolution (1910-1920). A highly cosmopolitan artist, Rivera had spent many years in Europe before returning to Mexico in 1921, and in 1927 he traveled to the Soviet Union where he met Alfred Barr, the soon-to-be founding director of The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Rivera's artistic celebrity benefitted from major commissions in the United States, including murals for the Pacific Stock Exchange, the California School of Fine Arts in San Francisco, MoMA and the Detroit Institute of Arts. By the 1930s, he enjoyed an unrivaled status at the center of international debates about public art and politics..
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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble

In 1931, as the Great Depression was sinking into American society, the Museum of Modern Art invited famed Mexican artist for a one-man mural exhibitions. The circumstances were extraordinary: During the six weeks before the opening, the radical artist produced five "portable murals" with Mexican subject matter and revolutionary themes. (While the exhibit was in progress, he produced three additional murals with New York City subjects.) During its five-week run, the show broke attendance records, but its impact dwindled over time. This companion book to a Diego Riversa MOMA show that will run from November 13th thru mid-May places the exhibition in the context of the stormy political and artistic struggles of the time.

The New Yorker
"Diego Rivera: Murals for the Museum of Modern Art", at MOMA, revisits the high tide of the artist's American success. The show reunites three of the five frescoes that Rivera created on portable supports of steel-braced cement, in 1931, for what was the museum's second solo exhibition, the first having been devoted to Matisse. It includes two other frescoes that Rivera made in New York at the time, along with studies and preparatory cartoons, documents and technical analyses.
— Peter Schjeldahl
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780870708176
  • Publisher: The Museum of Modern Art
  • Publication date: 11/30/2011
  • Pages: 148
  • Sales rank: 1,453,185
  • Product dimensions: 9.32 (w) x 10.62 (h) x 0.81 (d)

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