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 this 1925 letter, Ángel Zárraga acknowledges Manuel Rodríguez Lozano as a painter and a friend. After a brief introduction of indeterminate tone, Zárraga points to his discovery that “Race” and “People” are grandiose concepts that lead him to wonder why we fear the expression if the thing exists. Zárraga maintains that as a painter, all he has is emotion and intuition. When applied to art, these are not hermetic concepts but simply expressed in the use of knowledge to render a concept in which artifice and artisan join forces to create the work. Zárraga recognizes two currents in art that were being promoted by the former minister José Vasconcelos. One trend was embraced by Diego Rivera, about whom he promised to write at length; the other, by Rodríguez Lozano, who, to him, had found an experimental area that it had been given to no other man to find.
Ángel Zárraga (1886–1946) belonged to the generation prior to the muralists. He was a member of Ateneo de la Juventud and worked for La Revista Moderna de México [Modern Journal of Mexico] (1903–11). With his family’s help, he went to Europe, where Zárraga mostly remained until World War II. In 1925, he writes to Manuel Rodríguez Lozano (1896–1971) about the two currents in Mexican painting and explains that he is more inclined toward the trend created by Rodríguez Lozano who was influenced by the method of Adolfo Best Maugard (1891–1964) for educating children. This offers the explanation of why he turned to symbolic iconography when Zárraga was commissioned to paint murals for the Mexican Embassy in Paris in 1927.