The Power and Politics of Art in Postrevolutionary Mexico

The Power and Politics of Art in Postrevolutionary Mexico

by Stephanie J. Smith

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Stephanie J. Smith brings Mexican politics and art together, chronicling the turbulent relations between radical artists and the postrevolutionary Mexican state. The revolution opened space for new political ideas, but by the late 1920s many government officials argued that consolidating the nation required coercive measures toward dissenters. While artists and intellectuals, some of them professed Communists, sought free expression in matters both artistic and political, Smith reveals how they simultaneously learned the fine art of negotiation with the increasingly authoritarian government in order to secure clout and financial patronage. But the government, Smith shows, also had reason to accommodate artists, and a surprising and volatile interdependence grew between the artists and the politicians.

Involving well-known artists such as Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera, and David Alfaro Siqueiros, as well as some less well known, including Tina Modotti, Leopoldo Mendez, and Aurora Reyes, politicians began to appropriate the artists' nationalistic visual images as weapons in a national propaganda war. High-stakes negotiating and co-opting took place between the two camps as they sparred over the production of generally accepted notions and representations of the revolution's legacy—and what it meant to be authentically Mexican.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781469635699
Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press
Publication date: 11/14/2017
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 292
File size: 10 MB

About the Author

Stephanie J. Smith, associate professor of Latin American and Mexican history at The Ohio State University, is the author of Gender and the Mexican Revolution: Yucatan Women and the Realities of Patriarchy.

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From the Publisher

Far reaching, pathbreaking, and ambitious, Stephanie Smith's book is the first to fully recognize the many contributions of numerous women in the intellectual, artistic, and political circles of 1920s and '30s Mexico City—revealing their marginalization by both the right and the left. Perhaps most important, she productively expands the concept of culture in postrevolutionary Mexico. Required reading." —Ben Fallaw, Colby College

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