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.
After a long reflection about the meaning of the mask—an inherent content of education that civilization imposes upon mankind—Febronio Ortega shows the avant-garde work realized in Paris by Germán Cueto. According to him, the new masks by the artist-sculptor, made “like modern Man” with metal sheets, exhibit “very simple lines without decoration.” Ortega refers to the artist as “Germán Projects” thus emphasizing his capacity to get lost in the handling of the material, that way capturing the physical reality of his model.
There are scant documented time records of the masks created by Germán Cueto (1893-1975) during his stay in Paris between 1927 and 1932. El Universal Ilustrado reproduces three of them. Toward 1929, his work was exhibited in the Salle de la Renaissance and presented by his cousin Marie Blanchard. Cueto and his wife Lola Velásquez were part of the circle of artists settled in France that joined the group and magazine Cercle et Carré: Joaquín Torres-García, Jacques Lipchitz, Constantin Brancusi, and, especially Michel Seuphor. Differing from the portrait-masks of the “estridentista” type constructed with polychrome cardboard and previously exhibited toward 1924 at the Café de Nadie in Mexico City, Cueto created his new masks out of metal. Their lines are more synthetic and the shapes more angular, akin to the Parisian avant-garde which he frequented at the time.
The pieces by Germán Cueto are very important examples of a type of avant-garde art that was developed in Mexico parallel to the narrative art and to muralism in particular.