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 article Jorge Cuesta writes about the difficulty in determining, at first sight, the artistic and educational value of the works in the exhibition of revolutionary posters organized by the Departmento de Bellas Artes de la SEP [Ministry of Public Education]. However, in his opinion the show deserves official support given that the poster show “constitutes an educational and aesthetic philosophy and not just a mere typographical curiosity.” Cuesta draws a link between political posters and those used by the industrial and publicity sectors of the time. He believes that the SEP’s interest in posters as a graphic tool is based on the educational goals it has for the illiterate (who will remain unable to read). “For this reason it has created a culture of posters, a culture of propaganda, a culture for the illiterate.”
According to the official interpretations that appeared in various publications of the time, the posters in the traveling exhibition organized by the Secretaría de Educación Pública (SEP) were the finest artistic expression that reflect the values and principles of the Mexican government, while also creating an art dedicated to social transformation. Nonetheless, Jorge Cuesta—the poet of Los Contemporáneos group—held a different opinion than the enthusiastic official point of view. In this article, the author of Canto a un dios mineral [Song for a Mineral God] (1934) differs with SEP by stating that the revolutionary spirit of the artists favors painting over graphic arts.