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 1950, David Alfaro Siqueiros gave a lecture at the Palacio de Bellas Artes [Palace of Fine Arts] in which he analyzed [the work of] Mexican painters such as Diego Rivera and Rufino Tamayo. Siqueiros concluded that they do not belong to the Mexican School of Painting; in the former’s case because of the static nature of his work; and in the latter’s because Tamayo was influenced by the “School of Paris.” According to Siqueiros, Mexican painting is realist art expressed through realist forms; he described it as a form that is a medium for expressing fundamental ideas. Whereas, the opposite is true of the French school that values art for art’s sake, and form for form’s sake.
David Alfaro Siqueiros (1896-1974) was concerned that art in Mexico was being taken over by a younger generation that was not following in the steps of the realist school. It was in the 1950s, and young painters were more influenced by figures like Rufino Tamayo (1899-1991). Siqueiros therefore wrote open letters to the most widely read newspapers in Mexico City, and sought to speak at places such as the Palacio de Bellas Artes and create forums like the Centro de Arte Realista [Center for Realist Art] as well as the Cuernavaca workshop, where he could count on the support of his followers.