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.
This article reproduces some of the works by Carlos Mérida that would be shown in his upcoming exhibition sponsored by the Academia de Bellas Artes. The author states that the artist’s personality is well defined. He points out that Mérida is trying to produce an American art, one that would not evolve into archeological investigations, but would rather avail itself of the essential elements of pre-Columbian art such as: geometric simplicity, stability, architectural construction, and a decorative tendency. The painter combines these elements with the artistic sensibility of the era in order to foment an art that would undoubtedly be an exponent of the American race. The author of the article believes that Mérida’s work reverberates with all the brilliant colors of nature and the strong, contemplative soul of our race. As Mérida himself had said, the author states that all the decorative elements of our indigenous races must be combined with a modern sensibility and stamped with one’s personal seal in order to produce an American art. He concludes by affirming that the cultured public will applaud the genuinely nationalistic efforts of this distinguished artist.
Carlos Mérida (1891–1984) came to Mexico at the end of 1919 and mounted his first exhibition at the Escuela Nacional de Bellas Artes in August 1920; it generated great anticipation from the public, artists and intellectuals of the era. The work he presented in this exhibition had been produced during his beginnings in Guatemala and it was chiefly inspired by his travels to different indigenous villages in his country; although it was also influenced by the modern artistic trends that he had studied in Paris. This article contains some of Mérida’s ideas on American art. He considered this work to be his first experiments in American painting, of which he was a forerunner in Mexico.