Mexico and Modern Printmaking: A Revolution in the Graphic Arts, 1920 to 1950

Overview

Mexico witnessed an exciting revival of printmaking alongside its better-known public mural program in the decades after the 1910–20 revolution. Major artists such as José Clemente Orozco, Diego Rivera, David Alfaro Siqueiros, and Rufino Tamayo produced numbers of prints that furthered the social and political reforms of the revolution and helped develop a uniquely Mexican cultural identity. This groundbreaking book is the first to undertake an in-depth examination of these prints, the vital contributions ...

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Overview

Mexico witnessed an exciting revival of printmaking alongside its better-known public mural program in the decades after the 1910–20 revolution. Major artists such as José Clemente Orozco, Diego Rivera, David Alfaro Siqueiros, and Rufino Tamayo produced numbers of prints that furthered the social and political reforms of the revolution and helped develop a uniquely Mexican cultural identity. This groundbreaking book is the first to undertake an in-depth examination of these prints, the vital contributions Mexico’s printmakers made to modern art, and their influence on coming generations of foreign artists.
Along with a thorough discussion of the printmaking practices of Orozco, Rivera, Siqueiros, Tamayo, and others, the book features some 300 handsomely illustrated prints––many previously unpublished. Essays by distinguished scholars investigate the dynamic cultural exchange between Mexico and other countries at this time. They analyze the work of such Mexican artists as Emilio Amero and Jesús Escobedo, who traveled abroad, and such international artists as Elizabeth Catlett and Jean Charlot, who came to Mexico. They also discuss the important roles of the Taller de Gráfica Popular, a flourishing print workshop founded in Mexico City in 1937, and the Weyhe Gallery in New York, which published and distributed prints by many of these artists during the 1920s and 1930s. Together, the prints and essays tell the fascinating history of Mexico’s graphic-arts movement in the first half of the 20th century.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Twentieth-century Mexican art is characterized by primitive influences and an emphasis on the Mexican laborer as subject. As such, leading Mexican artists have turned away from traditionally elite art methods and favored more publicly accessible vehicles, eschewing easel painting in favor of mural painting and printmaking. This book accompanies an exhibition traveling through Pennsylvania, Texas, and Arizona until January 2008 and is published in association with the Philadelphia Museum of Art (PMA) and the McNay Art Museum, San Antonio. It is an overview of 300 prints by the modern printmakers of Mexico, among them Rufino Tamayo and Jos Clemente Orozco. Ittmann (curator of prints, PMA), along with curators Innis Howe Shoemaker and Lyle W. Williams and independent scholar James M. Wechsler, examine the techniques employed by these and other artists, most notably woodcut, linocut, and lithography. The authors are especially successful in relating the expressive qualities of the art to the artists' political convictions, e.g., the influence of Soviet communism and revulsion against German Nazism. The research and documentation are also strong, retracing the development of Mexican art schools and the artists' relationships with international galleries and political figures. This beautifully illustrated volume is recommended for academic and larger public libraries.-Eric Linderman, Euclid P.L., OH Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780300120042
  • Publisher: Yale University Press
  • Publication date: 11/15/2006
  • Pages: 302
  • Product dimensions: 9.40 (w) x 12.10 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

John Ittmann is Curator of Prints, and Innis Howe Shoemaker is the Audrey and William H. Helfand Senior Curator of Prints, Drawings, and Photographs, both at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. James M. Wechsler is an independent scholar based in New York. Lyle W. Williams is Curator of Prints and Drawings at the McNay Art Museum, San Antonio.

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