Mexican Masters

Article excerpt

SMALLER SCALE WORKS by Mexico's most famous muralists, Diego Rivera, David Alfaro Siqueiros, and José Clemente Orozco, are on display in Oklahoma.

A new exhibition at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art offers a rare glimpse of the artists' stylistic range. Portraits, street scenes, and other depictions of modern life reveal an emerging aesthetic at the beginning of the twentieth century. 'Although these artists were leading figures in the Mexican muralist movement and their fame was spread through their more monumental works, their easel work is of equal importance," writes curator Armando Sáenz Carrillo. The paintings are from the Carrillo Gil Collection in Mexico City, and they will be shown through March 26 with a grant from the Oklahoma Humanities Council.

Pieces in the collection by Rivera focus on his early cubist period, between 1911 and 1917, when he worked in Europe alongside Picasso. "As the old world would soon blow itself apart, never to be the same again, so cubism broke down forms as they had been seen for centuries," Rivera wrote, "and was creating out of the fragments new forms, new objects, new patterns and-ultimately-new worlds. …