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Synopsis

The film director and screenwriter Chano Urueta reviews the group exhibition of the Liga de Escritores y Artistas Revolucionarios [LEAR, League of Revolutionary Writers and Artists] held at the former church of Santa Clara, which was later converted into the Biblioteca del Congreso [Library of the House of Representatives]. Artists such as Julio Castellanos, Alfredo Zalce, Jesús Guerrero Galván, Francisco Díaz de León, and others participated in the show. The author notes: "The LEAR is turning projects into realities . . . and at the risk of being viewed as arbitrary, I will not speak about Diego [Rivera], or [Carlos] Mérida." Urueta considered the production of Guatemalan painter Carlos Mérida "mediocre" and regarded that of Rufino Tamayo as "bad art." At the same time he clarifies that "I should speak of other people. And speak with fairness . . . since there is a revolutionary effort in protest painting . . . ".

 

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Annotations

This article seems to be a response to the ones in which Luis Cardoza y Aragón (1901–1992) practically dismissed the artistic work that came out of the League. For the Guatemalan poet and writer, the members of the LEAR had no capacity for self-reflection and sacrificed quality in order to put themselves at the service of so-called “revolutionary” art—observations that were precisely the opposite of what had been previously said by Chano Urueta (1904–1979) and other members of the association such as Juan de la Cabada. In a contradictory manner—and despite the justificatory tone of this review—Urueta applauded precisely the kind of painting that had distanced itself from the revolutionary ideas, just as was the case of the painter Jesús Guerrero Galván from Jalisco, whom Urueta believed to “possess sensibility” and whose themes, related as they were to European classicism, were “the reflection of a deep aesthetic concern.” For this distinguished member of the LEAR, it was extremely important to define limits and differences within the collective artistic activity–most of all because of the hegemony of Diego Rivera (1886–1957)—so as to clarify the position of the LEAR in the confrontation with so-called “bourgeois” art.

Researcher
Dafne Cruz Porchini: CURARE A. C.
Team
CURARE, Espacio crítico para las artes, Mexico City, Mexico
Credit

Location
Instituto de Investigaciones Bibliográficas : Biblioteca Nacional/Hemeroteca Nacional