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.
The Mexican paintings included at the Venice Biennale generated such unanimous excitement among the critics and the European public that a request was immediately submitted to the Venice board of directors and the director of the exhibition to ship the entire collection to other European countries, specifically Austria and Holland. The critic Ceferino Palencia reviews the selection sent by David Alfaro Siqueiros, whose work was awarded the first prize. The critic mentions Madre campesina [Peasant Mother], El diablo en la iglesia [The Devil in the Church], and Nuestra imagen [Our Image], which display the painter’s expressive intentions as well as his power of communication. The exhibition also featured Siqueiros’ portraits and landscapes, which reveal his use of new pictorial materials.
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According to the art critic Ceferino Palencia, paintings by David Alfaro Siqueiros (1996-1974) are distinguished by their pictorial experimentation. In those days, Siqueiros advocated the development of a “new realism.” As distinct from “artepurismo,” this new art was intended as a form of social criticism as well as a review of Mexican culture and history—not just in the past but also in the present and the future. Siqueiros favored the pictorial accident as a means of discovering forms and figures. This painter’s œuvre confirms that the idea of universality and the creation of a new phase in mural painting could be found in the synthesis of both pictorial experimentation and its socio-political connotations. Siqueiros used technical innovations—such as duco (pyroxylin), colored cement, documentary photographs, and electric projectors—not as mere pictorial elements but as a means of incorporating a humanistic and revolutionary approach.