Blanco Art Collection

David Alfaro Siqueiros

Zapata by Alfaro Siqueiros

Media: Lithographs
Themes: The founders and inspiring spirits of the TGP

David Alfaro Siqueiros was born in Chihuahua, Mexico. His maternal grandfather was a politician and a poet who fought with the Juarez army against the Hapsburg’s Imperial Rule. Siqueiros initiated his art studies at the San Carlos Academy. In 1913 he abandoned his studies which were interrupted by the revolt of Victoriano Huerta against President Madero, and became a journalist working at the newspaper “La Vanguardia”. He joined the Constitutionalist Army, participating in many battles. Siqueiros became staff to General Diegues who was the Commander of West Forces of the Mexican Army.

After the revolution he was sent to Europe to continue his art studies by express instructions from the first Head Revolutionary , Venustiano Carranza.

Siqueiros visited Spain, France, Belgium and Italy. There he became a friend of Diego Rivera. While in Barcelona, Spain, he was published in the magazine Vida Americana in 1921. It was in a revolutionary art article where he presented his “Three orientation calls to the new generation of Artist Painters and Sculptors of America”. This theory became very important to the development of the monumental Mexican Art and was a a novel approach to the arts in the post-Dadaism, movement developed between Cubism (1914) and the advent of Surrealism in (1915).

Siqueiros returned to Mexico together with other Mexican artists studying in Europe, such as Orozco, Rivera, Leal, Revueltas. He founded a Union called “Syndicate of Revolutionary Painters Sculptors and Printers of Mexico”. Together with Rivera he founded a newspaper “El Machete”, which found great acceptance in Mexico resulting in massive publications. In 1932, he traveled to the USA and studied art at Chouinard School. From that moment Siqueiros initiated a career that ends only with his death.

In 1936 he found a Workshop he called “Siqueiros’ Experimental Environments for the Plastic Materials”. There, Jackson Pollock would research plastics and be given his initiation of the “Abstract Expressionism” or “Action Painting”.

Siqueiros did not joint the TGP, however, his more important lithograph productions were printed at TGP. It is unmistake, that the orgins of printing of modern Mexican art goes hand in hand, directly or indirectly with the Taller de Grafica Popular.

August 27, 2008

Filed under: David Alfaro Siqueiros — Tags: , — webmaster @ 10:30 am

Pablo O’Higgins (1904-1983)

La Carreta by Pablo O'HigginsMedia: Lithographs
Themes:
The founders and inspiring spirits of the TGP

Pablo O’Higgins was born in Salt Lake City, Utah, USA. Not well known in the United States, his native country, he has never had the well deserved recognition there. Some writers do not consider him well known even in Mexico, even though his Mexican citizenship was given to him by Presidential Decree.

Pablo was a great artist who never looked for the fame and glamour that many artists look for. He was an excellent artist, with a great sensibility for the problems people face in everyday life. His sensibility is beyond doubt. He painted life as it was. His lithograph representing the life of the sugarcane workers which he painted in Hawaii when this crop was produced there, is proof of this talent.

Pablo O’Higgins arrived in Mexico City in 1926. Why he chose Mexico is a good story. He was already a good piano player who had given recitals and concerts, from an early age, and who could have had a very successful career in the USA when read about Diego Rivera. The master muralist was working there as an artist. He wrote to Diego indicating to him his desire to work under him. Diego welcomed him, not realizing he was acquiring a talented and very sensitive artist.

O’Higgins actually told his father he didn’t want to study anymore. When his father asked him why, Pablo replied that like many other young Americans, he wanted to work to save money, in order to be able study with Diego Rivera. His father did not allow him to waste time working and gave him $100 dollars. That was all the cash he had in hand when he left for Mexico. That was all the financial support his father ever gave him.

In Mexico his career took off. He painted the people he respected… the ordinary, hard-working Mexican campesinos and workers, people he called the “Real Mexicans”.

Leopoldo Méndez


Media: Lithographs
Themes:The founders and inspiring spirits of the TGP

Leopoldo Méndez (1902 – 1969)

Born in Mexico City, Méndez is considered by many to be one of the great, masters of print. His long career began with training at the San Carlos Academy of Fine Arts. He was a founding member of the TGP and a prolific artist, working as a book illustrator, muralist and designer of posters and magazines. The work displays  the didactic nature as well his skill as a print maker.

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August 25, 2008

Filed under: Leopoldo Méndez — Tags: — webmaster @ 9:27 pm

Luis Arenal Bastar (1909 – 1985)

Luis_Arenal-Lazaro_Carden1

Media: Lithographs
Themes:The founders and inspiring spirits of the TGP

Luis Arenal Bastar was born in Mexico City, Arenal was almost entirely self-taught as an artist. While in his early twenties, Arenal began to work with and assist David Alfaro Siqueiros. He was one of the founding members of the TGP along with Leopoldo Mendez. He spent a seminal time of his artistic career in the United States receiving a number of key commissions for murals. A muralist as well as printmaker, sculptor and painter, the work selected for this exhibit displays his skillful transmutation from muralist to printmaker.

“Datos Biograficos de Luis Arenal Bastar (1909 – 1985)” was shared with us at the Opening Reception of the Exhibition that took place at the Howard Community College in Columbia Maryland in september of 2008.

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Filed under: Luis Arenal Bastar — Tags: — webmaster @ 9:17 pm

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