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In this book, Margarita Nelken, a Spanish critic based in Mexico, discusses the development of Expressionism in Mexican art. She argues that Mexican Expressionism has a native origin that, with the passage of time, has been enriched by the different strains of European Expressionism. These strains, in her opinion, reach back to the work of Goya and continue until the German avant-garde of the twentieth century. Some of the founding fathers of the “Mexican School” can be found among the Mexican artists that Nelken considers as a part of the Expressionist vein, including José Clemente Orozco and David Alfaro Siqueiros. Nevertheless, she also includes some young artists from the Ruptura generation. Nelken likewise includes independent artists, such as Jesús Reyes Ferreira, as well as some of the European immigrants to Mexico, Mathias Goeritz and Antonio Rodríguez Luna, among them.


The book by Margarita Nelken (1898-1968), El expresionismo en la plástica de hoy [Expressionism in Today’s Art], published in 1964, places the movement that emerged between the two wars in context. Her book is of interest because her use of Expressionism permits her to connect, in a single concept, two groups of Mexican artists that were at odds at the time the book was written. Nelken analyzes José Clemente Orozco (1883-1949) posthumously and David Alfaro Siqueiros (1896-1974) and then, she points out the new Ruptura generation, with such artists as José Luís Cuevas, Alberto Gironella and Francisco Corzas. She also includes some immigrants and independents in her deliberation.  Due to space issues, this document reproduces only the introductions. 

Alejandro Ugalde
CURARE, Espacio crítico para las artes, Mexico City, Mexico
Courtesy of Margarita Salas de Paúl, Mexico City, Mexico
Biblioteca Justino Fernández del Instituto de Investigaciones Estéticas, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México