Modern Mexican Art
Modern Mexican Art
Not until the early depression period, 1929-33, did Modern Art begin to take root in America and become an integral part of our cultural development. It was then that the interest in Parisian styles and the importation of Parisian pictures dropped, that paintings of the American Scene became an important gallery feature, that the federal government took on the official responsibility for the patronage of the nation's artists, and that the significance of Mexico's contribution to Modern Art became fully apparent.
For more than a generation the development of Modern Art had followed the basic aesthetic principles and thematic variations of the so-called School of Paris. In Europe there were many reactions, but beyond a Käthe Kollwitz, George Grosz, or a highly commercialized art of propaganda no movement seriously threatened its supremacy. In America this depression-born rebellion against Parisian aesthetic fashion revealed many creative artists whose own direct and individual reactions to their immediate surroundings were considered more important than the esoteric or scientific manipulations of artistic styles and problems. Recognition of these artists has produced a broader, more popular appreciation of the arts in general. It has widened the circle of the purchasing public. Above all, it has resulted in a deeper realization that art is a necessary attribute of the cultural development of an integrated people and nation.
This study is an attempt to record the character and development of the Mexican contribution to this awakening. It involves not only a chronological history of the creative personalities and the works they produced but also a number of problems that are fundamental to the development of a new Modern Art -- the product of a new generation of artists, changing political and economic conditions, and especially new social and aesthetic purposes.
The first and most important of these issues revolves about the changing relationship between the creative artist and society. In the old school the artist sought freedom to work out his own experiments and problems of expression alone, and it was a restricted if appreciative society that looked to . . .