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 article entitled “La obra admirable de Diego Rivera” [The praiseworthy work of Diego Rivera], Ortega faithfully follows the steps of his master and in great detail explains each of the figures included in his recently unveiled “decoration,” La Creación [Creation]. Three-quarters of the article is devoted to reviewing it, figure-by-figure, and gesture by gesture, and discussing those figures and gestures he believes were executed the most successfully. Ortega speaks of a crisis in Mexican painting which, in his opinion, is going through a phase of deep discontent, particularly in painting and literature more than any other art form or mode of expression. For him, the “imbalance” is visible. In an interview with El Universal Ilustrado, no painter agreed with the others. One style confronts the other and both are offended, both disagree, fight, and insult each other.
By 1923, Ortega had a clearer understanding of the art scene and distinguished between the different artistic circles that existed at the time, as well as the terrible antagonism between some of them. The method/modus operandi of Adolfo Best Maugard (1891–1964) was seen by his enemies as effecting spineless, soulless stylizations that communicated nothing. It was in the circle of Diego Rivera (1886–1957), José Clemente Orozco (1883–1949), and Alfredo Ramos Martínez where Ortega found art “with meaning.” And certainty, he continued to erroneously classify Orozco and Ramos Martínez as being part of the same group, even when the Escuelas al Aire Libre [Open-Air Schools] were the workshops from which an illustrious group of painters would emerge.