December 1, 2020
Vida Americana: Mexican Muralists Remake American Art, 1925–1945
Feb 17, 2020–Jan 31, 2021
Mexico underwent a radical cultural transformation at the end of its Revolution in 1920. A new relationship between art and the public was established, giving rise to art that spoke directly to the people about social justice and national life. The model galvanized artists in the United States who were seeking to break free of European aesthetic domination to create publicly significant and accessible native art. Numerous American artists traveled to Mexico, and the leading Mexican muralists—José Clemente Orozco, Diego Rivera, and David Alfaro Siqueiros—spent extended periods of time in the United States, executing murals, paintings, and prints; exhibiting their work; and interacting with local artists. With nearly 200 works by over sixty Mexican and American artists, this exhibition reorients art history by revealing the profound impact the Mexican muralists had on their counterparts in the United States during this period and the ways in which their example inspired American artists both to create epic narratives about American history and everyday life and to use their art to protest economic, social, and racial injustices.
This exhibition is organized by Barbara Haskell, curator, with Marcela Guerrero, assistant curator; Sarah Humphreville, senior curatorial assistant; and Alana Hernandez, former curatorial project assistant.