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Samuel Ramos writes some of his critical reflections about the historic meaning of the Mexican movement of painting that began in 1921, in order to understand its spiritual evolution. The tone of the essay oscillates between the value of mural painting during the 1920s and the dismissal of most of its painters, except Diego Rivera, whom he calls the patriarch, whereas the others are his imitators. About the artists of the 1930s and 1940s, Ramos mentions that they have struggled for independence from the influence of Orozco and Rivera, having therefore adopted a negative critical position toward the work of these two painters, to the point of unfairness. He comments that gradually they have abandoned picturesque and revolutionary aspects producing paintings that are more abstract and closer to what is done in other countries. This has made them copy formulas and follow patterns that—for commercial reasons—the galleries have imposed upon them. The philosopher Ramos believes that Mexican artists are full of biases and inhibitions.
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The philosopher Samuel Ramos (1897-1959) stood out because of his concern with the ontology of Mexicans, and dedicated part of his work to topics related with its aesthetics. Among his works, Ensayo sobre Diego Rivera and La filosofía de la vida artística. The current article is characterized by the defense that Ramos builds regarding the work of Diego Rivera (1886-1957) as well as José Clemente Orozco (1883-1949). The author considers unfair the criticism, in particular, against both painters and, in general, against the Mexican movement of painting that appeared in the 1920s.
From the end of the 1930s, Carlos Mérida (1891-1984) already pointed out that there was decadence, not only in the visual language but also in the themes of the Mexican muralist movement, fighting for free creation and more abstract or universal artistic experimentation. This conflict became more severe during the following decade, when critics as well as artists and intellectuals participated in the debate.
About the criticism by Ramos regarding the painters who split away from the Mexican Movement, whom he considers imitators of foreign models and followers of commercial patterns, Mérida publishes, in the same organ, an article in response to the attacks of the philosopher (See note by Mérida, doc. 746913, in addition to the different critical positions by Siqueiros, doc. 821964).