by Chadd Scott
Alfredo Ramos Martinez’s Flores Mexicanas, on view now at the Dallas Museum of Art, reminds audiences instantly how inadequate “virtual” art experiences are when compared to the real thing. Nine feet tall. Twelve feet wide. Luscious in color. A gasp-inducing, ornate, hand-crafted frame.
by Susan Stamberg
I'm a little uncomfortable about this essay. Texas is surging with COVID-19, and I'm transfixed by a painting at the Dallas Museum of Art. But if, like me, you crave something beautiful right now, then perhaps this will help.
It's a painting wrapped in politics, romance and mystery. The Dallas Museum of Art (closed now, but with online offerings that exhibit its treasures) is making this picture the centerpiece of a show called "Flores Mexicanas: Women in Modern Mexican Art."
By Peter Schjeldahl
The title of a thumpingly great show at the Whitney, “Vida Americana: Mexican Muralists Remake American Art, 1925-1945,” picks an overdue art-historical fight. The usual story of American art in those two decades revolves around young, often immigrant American aesthetes striving to absorb European modernism. A triumphalist tale composed backward from its climax—the postwar success of Abstract Expressionism—it brushes aside the prevalence, in the Depression thirties, of politically themed figurative art: social realism, more or less, which became ideologically toxic with the onset of the Cold War.
by Alina Cohen
Figurative painting is the dominant aesthetic mode. Artists feud about how radical the government should be. Fights about aesthetic patronage and censorship dominate news headlines. These themes, which are at the core of “Vida Americana”—a new show at the Whitney Museum of American Artthat examines Mexican modernism from 1925 to 1945—also represent some of our contemporary art world’s most pressing issues.
“Vida Americana” is part of a growing group of major exhibitions that explore Mexico’s influence on international modernism. Altogether, these shows argue that Mexico’s cultural interchange with the U.S. and Europe radically shifted the relationship between artists and politics, reconsidered the role of craft in fine art, and gave birth to Abstract Expressionism.
Mexican Muralists Changed the Course of 20th-Century American Art. A New Exhibit Explores Their Influence
BY ANNA PURNA KAMBHAMPATY
Jackson Pollock’s best-known influences include European greats like Pablo Picasso and Joan Miró. But often overlooked is the artist’s time at New York’s Experimental Workshop, founded in 1936 by David Alfaro Siqueiros, who along with Diego Rivera and José Clemente Orozco made up “los tres grandes” who led the postrevolution Mexican muralism movement. Siqueiros founded the Workshop in New York City in 1936, guided by the philosophy that in order to make truly radical art, artists must shed old practices and pioneer completely new techniques. As an impressionable young painter there, Pollock was exposed to the approach of pouring and dripping paint onto canvases, more than a decade before he would introduce his first “drip paintings” in 1947.
A new exhibition at the Whitney Museum of American Art, Vida Americana: Mexican Muralists Remake American Art, 1925–1945, aims to rectify such oversights. The show, which runs from February through mid-May, shines a light on the Mexican artists whose politically charged, populist work shaped some of the most significant American artists of the 20th century, from Pollock to Philip Guston. The exhibit places Mexican works next to those of Americans who borrowed, often heavily, from their themes and methods. “Sometimes we talk about American art or Mexican art, but these are really fictitious borders, frontiers that do not actually exist,” says Marcela Guerrero, assistant curator of the exhibit.
Mexico, Not France, Had ‘Most Profound And Pervasive’ Impact On 20th Century American Art, Whitney Curator Discovers
by Natasha Gural
A replica of the contentious Man, Controller of the Universe mural bursts from a full wall on the fifth-floor galleries at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York for Vida Americana: Mexican Muralists Remake American Art, 1925–1945, opening to the public on February 17. A highlight of the groundbreaking exhibition featuring around 200 works by about 60 artists, the chilling reproduction is distressingly relevant in today’s fragmented and fragile sociopolitical climate.
Beyond the wall: a golden period of exchange between Mexican and US artists is revisited in new show
by GABRIELLA ANGELETI
The profound influence Mexican artists had on the American avant-garde in the two decades following the end of the Mexican Revolution in 1920 is to be revealed this month in a groundbreaking exhibition at the Whitney Museum of American Art. Vida Americana: Mexican Muralists Remake American Art 1925-45, which explores the overlooked creative exchange between Mexican and US artists in that era, will “reorient the understanding of art history”, says the show’s curator Barbara Haskell.
by Anne Quito, CNN
Diego Rivera is widely recognized for his influence on modern art. Active in the first half of the 20th century, he was collected by the Rockefellers, displayed at leading galleries, and remains the most expensive Latin American artist today.
While he and his wife Frida Kahlo were the most famous artistic exports from their home country of Mexico, they were not the only ones. As an eye-opening new exhibition at the Whitney Museum in New York argues, it was a group of Mexican artists -- and not so much the European modernists like Pablo Picasso or the cast of French Impressionists -- who shaped post-war art in the US.