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La exposición de la joven pintura mexicana [The Exhibition: The New Generation of Mexican Painting] was presented at three cities: Paris, Berlin and Madrid. The Spanish art critic Gabriel García Maroto gave a lecture in December 1926 when the show was in Madrid. He highlighted the parallel processes that the visual arts underwent in both countries and argued that they resulted in the deaths of two schools of art: the San Fernando in Madrid and the San Carlos in Mexico. Maroto linked the merit of this new generation of visual arts in Mexico that arose out of the Revolution to the native roots of the Mayans and the Otomis. The show offered the rare and extraordinary occasion to view the art of those Mexican children who attended the Escuelas al Aire Libre [The Open-Air Schools]. In this article, the author wonders how deep the roots of this authentic renaissance run.


The importance of this article is made evident by combining the images reproduced—of two children between 8 and 10 years of age—painting a landscape outdoors, without the supervision of an adult, given that the only person observing is another child. 

Gabriel García Maroto (1889-1969) had been a member of the Generación de Veintisiete [the 1927 Generation] and since then had displayed an affinity for Mexican culture; he settled down permanently there after the Spanish Civil War. Maroto brings together two cultural values that he believed to be fundamental—the painting of children and the influence of pre-Hispanic cultures such as the Mayans and the Otomis—in order to conclude that these gave rise to this new painting. He considered this to be one of the lessons of the artistic revolution that was then taking place in Mexico. The illustrations identify some of the painters of the Escuelas de Pintura al Aire Libre. The works of the children are exhibited along with those of some artists that never reached prominence. The exhibition was officially sponsored by the Mexican government, and by means of the Secretaría de Educación Pública [Ministry of Public Education], it promulgated these values. Maroto’s conference was published as a leaflet of 250 printings, illustrated with works by Spanish artists and also by the children of Mexico.

Esther Acevedo : Dirección de Estudios Históricos, INAH / CURARE A. C.
CURARE, Espacio crítico para las artes, Mexico City, Mexico

Instituto de Investigaciones Bibliográficas : Biblioteca Nacional/Hemeroteca Nacional