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Art critic Raquel Tibol questions the writer Luis Cardoza y Aragón and four artists from the second generation of the Mexican School of painting–Raúl Anguiano, Alberto Beltrán, Leopoldo Méndez, and José Chávez Morado—about the letter signed by José Luis Cuevas that appeared in the same supplement, Novedades, a week earlier. While Cardoza y Aragón acknowledges the right of young people to express themselves (even though he disagrees when it is done from outside the country), the other painters accuse Cuevas of being self-centered and paranoid and undeserving of the success he has achieved in the United States, where “dubious prestige is forged ‘made in Pan American Union [sic].’”


The visual artists interviewed by Raquel Tibol (1923–2008)—who at the time was an ardent champion of the figurative Mexican School—agreed to the need for a discussion about contemporary local painting. In fact, since the end of the previous year, following the death of Diego Rivera (1886–1957), the press was constantly questioning the relevance of the movement led by the artist from Guanajuato. This was not merely a response to the demise of its major exponent; it was also a response to the cultural politics that, from the United States, were being promoted for Latin America. Mexico in particular boasted a pictorial movement with an ideological baggage that was, without question, unacceptable during the Cold War. That, at least, is how Alberto Beltrán framed it in this article, adding, in a reference to José Luis Cuevas (b. 1934), that anti-Communist declarations (most especially when coming from a Latin American) were very much welcomed in the United States. 

Diana Briuolo
CURARE, Espacio crítico para las artes, Mexico City, Mexico
Instituto de Investigaciones Bibliográficas : Biblioteca Nacional/Hemeroteca Nacional