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.
No one interviewed María Izquierdo for this story. Instead, she went to the editorial office of Últimas Noticias on her own initiative and expressed her point of view about the “nascent pictorial dictatorship.” Following Fernando Leal’s lead, Izquierdo claimed that neither Diego Rivera, José Clemente Orozco, nor David Alfaro Siqueiros were entitled to be judges of mural painting in Mexico. When they first started painting they didn’t have to ask other painters for their opinion. She thought it unfair to limit the field to those who had already painted murals on the walls of public buildings. This system restricts the evolution of painting and places it under official control.
In 1928, María Izquierdo (1902–1955) left San Juan de los Lagos, Jalisco. Upon arriving in Mexico City, she immediately registered at the Escuela Central de Artes Plásticas [School of Visual Arts] where Rufino Tamayo (1899–1991) was her instructor. Both painters pursued their pictorial inquiries there. Her evolution as an artist paralleled her search for a range of iconic expressions representing indigenous and folk art themes. Izquierdo was not merely responding to the creation of a “dictatorship”; she was also protesting the unfair decision concerning the sketches she had submitted in 1945 for mural paintings at the Departamento Central [Mexico City-City Hall], which were arbitrarily rejected by the “Big Three.” This led her to call on all painters to forbid any attempt to control their thinking and spirit. Indeed, Izquierdo declared that she “would never submit to this official intellectual inquisition.”