Documents of 20th-century Latin American and Latino Art

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Synopsis

The art critic Ceferino Palencia reviews the exhibition at the Salón de la Plástica Mexicana [Salon of Mexican Visual Arts], one of three events presented in Mexico City to celebrate Mother’s Day. Twenty-five “accredited” painters were represented but the reviewer complains that their work is, “Nothing but technique, with no emotion at all.” With the exception of Luis Nishizawa, all the artists present work with a “Mother’s” theme, ranging from cutesy to ordinary: “They seem to have all agreed to either portray trivial moments or to present pathetic scenes.”  

Annotations

The Salón de la Plástica Mexicana [SPM, Salon of Mexican Visual Arts] was an exhibition space implemented by the Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes (INBA) in 1949 to be managed and supervised by the artists themselves. From the very beginning, the SPM presented itself as the defender of official painting, the so-called Escuela Mexicana de Pintura [Mexican School of painting]. That explains why its members, who were the only exhibitors, were still committed to a naturalist form of painting with a narrative content. At that Salon, however, the most notable work was the abstract La madre [The Mother] by Juan Soriano (1920-2006), which was awarded the prize and was purchased by the SPM itself. 

Ceferino Palencia, the Spanish critic who lived in Mexico, did not seem to agree with the decision, and wondered, “What emotion could possibly be stirred . . . by the confusion of these colors and this composition?”

Researcher
Diana Briuolo : CURARE A. C.
Team
CURARE, Espacio crítico para las artes, Mexico City, Mexico
Credit
Courtesy of Carlos Alberto Palencia García, Mexico City, México
Location
Instituto de Investigaciones Bibliográficas : Biblioteca Nacional/Hemeroteca Nacional