The editorial categories are research topics that have guided researchers during the recovery phase and continue to be the impetus behind the Documents Project’s digital archive and the Critical Documents book series. Developed by the project’s Editorial Board, each of the teams analyzed this framework and adapted it to their local contexts in developing their research objectives and work plans during the Recovery Phase. Learn more on the Editorial Framework page.
In the Coloquio III [Symposium III], titled “Mexicanismo y Universalidad” [Mexicanism and Universality], Rufino Tamayo criticizes the “patriotism” of some of his contemporaries, explaining that Mexican art should not be limited to recognition of Diego Rivera, David Alfaro Siqueiros, and other mural painters. On the contrary, in order to promote Mexican art—especially in the international arena—its “multifaceted” nature should be acknowledged. Tamayo also claims that artists who achieve universal standing are those who are able to see as men rather than just as members of a particular nation. Tamayo backs up his ideas by referring to a number of experiences he recalled from his life in New York and Paris during the 1930s to the 1950s.
This series of interviews or symposia was conducted in 1956, when Rufino Tamayo (1899–1991) had just emerged as the moral leader of the visual arts renaissance in Mexico. Since the 1940s, Tamayo had criticized the jingoistic and political excesses of mural painting, and had encouraged a move toward cosmopolitanism and modernization in Mexican art. His ideas, such as those in this series, were an inspiration to the avant-garde youth who were just beginning their careers in Mexico midway through the 20th century.