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 this short article, Andrés Henestrosa refers to the recent exhibition of German Expressionist painting organized by the Galería Antonio Souza in Mexico City. Starting with the exhibition, the writer analyzes the origins of the movement, recalling the dramatic social conditions in which it took place, its representative principles, and its decisive influence on Mexican artists such as José Clemente Orozco and David Alfaro Siqueiros. However, according to the writer, this current only contributed to the formation of a unique period in Mexican painting: the beginnings of post-revolutionary painting.
At the time of the article, Andrés Henestrosa (1906–2008) of Oaxaca was a recognized writer who focused on the recovery of indigenous traditions. He wrote a weekly column in the newspaper, El Nacional. His article, published in the supplement managed by Fernando Benítez (1912–2000), sought to justify the predominance of the officially recognized Mexican School of Painting vis-à-vis the works created by other artists. In particular, Henestrosa focused on artists who identified with the Expressionist movement, which, in his opinion, “historically represents a return to a style that is relatively distant.” He adds: “So then, we don’t see what is innovative in the work by some young artists such as Cuevas, Icaza or Marysole Worner Baz.” To Henestrosa, these works were simply proof of the plurality that existed in the Mexican visual arts, which allowed all kinds of aesthetic modalities, even those that had no raison d’être: “our world is much less dark than the world that gave rise to the work of the German masters.”