September 30, 2020

POSTED BY

Jose Fresan

CATEGORY

Vida Americana: Mexican Muralism at the Whitney.

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Installation view of Vida Americana: Mexican Muralists Remake American Art, 1925-1945 (Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, February 17-May 17, 2020). From left to right: Bendor Mark, Execution, 1940; David Alfaro Siqueiros, Photodocumentation of Tropical America, 1932. Photograph by Ron Amstutz After months of being locked down at the …

Installation view of Vida Americana: Mexican Muralists Remake American Art, 1925-1945 (Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, February 17-May 17, 2020). From left to right: Bendor Mark, Execution, 1940; David Alfaro Siqueiros, Photodocumentation of Tropical America, 1932. Photograph by Ron Amstutz

After months of being locked down at the Whitney, finally, the great works of the amazing Mexican muralists get to capture the eye of hundreds of New Yorkers. Vida Americana explores the Muralist movement that developed in Mexico from 1925 to 1945 and the way it impacted American society at that time.

The exhibition perfectly captures the development of the Muralist movement from its starting point as a way of highlighting the indigenous heritage of Mexico to its development as a full-on social art movement reflecting the communist values of its painters, which clashed deeply with the American society.

Vida Americana tells us the intricate story between artists like Diego Rivera and David Alfaro Siqueiros with the thriving U.S. imperialist economy and political landscape. On one hand, these artists were creating some of the best art on the World but on the other, they were openly supportive of a communist ideology opposite to all of what the U.S. represents. This juxtaposition created an interesting and difficult relationship between the Muralists and the U.S.A.

In the end, there were people willing to receive the Muralists art and ideology in the U.S. Vida Americana highlights the influence of the Muralist movement in American and international authors that were deeply inspired by the boldness of the movement.

As a Mexican, it’s really interesting to experience Mexican history through external eyes. For us Muralism has always been one of the best Art moments in our history and its topics were never that controversial, they were part of our society, but in the U.S. it was a different story.

Visit Vida Americana now showing at the Whitney.

Installation view of Vida Americana: Mexican Muralists Remake American Art, 1925-1945 (Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, February 17-May 17, 2020). From left to right: Diego Rivera, The Flowered Barge, 1931; Diego Rivera, Flower Festival: Feast of Santa Anita, 1931. Photograph by Ron Amstutz
Installation view of Vida Americana: Mexican Muralists Remake American Art, 1925-1945 (Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, February 17-May 17, 2020). Diego Rivera, Reproduction of Man, Controller of the Universe, 1934. Photograph by Ron Amstutz