Documents of 20th-century Latin American and Latino Art

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  • ICAA Record ID
    757997
    TITLE
    Los destructores de pinturas : Manifiesto del Grupo Comunista Estudiantil de la Escuela Nacional Preparatoria
    IN
    El Demócrata : Diario Independiente (México, D. F., México). -- Jul. 21, 1924
    DESCRIPTION
    p. 3
    LANGUAGES
    Spanish
    TYPE AND GENRE
    Newspaper article – Manifestoes
    BIBLIOGRAPHIC CITATION
    "Los destructores de pinturas: Manifiesto del Grupo Comunista Estudiantil de la Escuela Nacional Preparatoria." El Demócrata: Diario independiente (Mexico City), July 21, 1924.
    TOPIC DESCRIPTORS
Synopsis

This document reports on the publication of a manifesto signed by the Comunista Estudiantil de la Escuela Nacional Preparatoria [Student Communist Group at the National Preparatory School], comprised of 151 members. It explains how a small minority group that neither understands nor recognizes art came to protest “the ugliness” of mural painting. The authors try to explain that the art is national in scope because it portrays the struggles of the people; that it is not a photograph of reality but rather, through sketches and the use of primary colors, mirrors the suffering of millions of Mexicans whose survival is extremely difficult. They accuse Ezequiel A. Chávez, the president of the university, of being the moral stimulus behind the attack. They also accuse the Federación Mexicana de Estudiantes of being manipulated by the thirty coins [of silver] given to them by the Ministry of Public Education.

Annotations

The protestors use interesting language to defend mural painting, characterizing it as virile in comparison to the feminine nature of academic art. The article also speaks to the differences between academic and modern art; the formation of conservative groups and their antagonists; and the communist groups that were then taking form. Today it is easy to understand why the conservatives felt that the art of the muralist was “ugly”: the introduction of caricature illustrated wretched native people that were now being paid tribute in a grand scale. These values were not part of the bourgeois mindset. The groups that threw stones at the murals were composed of conservative students belonging to the Federación Estudiantil.

Researcher
Esther Acevedo : Dirección de Estudios Históricos, INAH / CURARE A. C.
Team
CURARE, Espacio crítico para las artes, Mexico City, Mexico
Location
Biblioteca Miguel Lerdo de Tejada de la Secretaría de Hacienda y Crédito Público