Documents of 20th-century Latin American and Latino Art

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Synopsis

According to the art critic Raúl Flores Guerrero, the current stagnation and crisis of Mexican painting, was mainly due to three factors. The first factor was the lack of adequate preparation of the new generation, the second one was due to the scant economic support for artistic work, and the third factor was the lack of interest on the part of galleries to promote the artists’ art. The critic posed the perceived issue that art education showed great deficiencies due to the fact that one of the requisites to study visual arts was to have completed only elementary school. The art critic considered that at that age there was a lack of knowledge about art history. It was therefore important to consider a theoretical and humanistic education as an unavoidable part of the creative process. Because of this lack of adequate education, the artists were divided, some in search of the abstractionist formula, others continuing with realism, and still others struggling tirelessly to attain the freedom of expression.

 

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The art critics of that time were aware of the polarization among artists. In some way, the same happened to them: they accepted the crisis in which social realism found itself but they could not bend themselves to fully accept abstract art. There was no language to express the meaning of non-figurative painting. In fact, abstract art was understood as a rejection toward the social message; it dealt with the dehumanization of art and, consequently, its own destruction. Raúl Flores Guerrero also made a justified appeal to the authorities as well as to cultural functionaries at the Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes [INBA, National Fine Arts Institute] about the lack of a Museum of Modern Art in Mexico. The critic stated that many of the works of art were in storage at the “national pantheon”—as Xavier Villaurrutia called the Palacio de Bellas Artes [Palace of Fine Arts]—not being available for viewing by anyone. 

Researcher
Ana María Torres: CEPE, U.N.A.M. / CURARE A. C.
Team
CURARE, Espacio crítico para las artes, Mexico City, Mexico
Location
Instituto de Investigaciones Bibliográficas : Biblioteca Nacional/Hemeroteca Nacional