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 poster “Protesta: De los Artistas Revolucionarios de México” [Mexican Revolutionary Artists: A Protest] shows the obviousness of the dispute between the students at the Escuela Nacional de Bellas Artes (ENBA) and the teachers and workers at the Escuelas Libres de Pintura [Free Art Schools]. The “artist revolutionaries,” as they called themselves, state that during each change of administration, the opportunists who reject the revolution attempt an assault on government positions. This in turn leads to disputes among arts institutions. They define “artist revolutionary” as an artist who actively participates in the struggle to vindicate the people, creating artworks that are useful to this movement and to the revolutionary art as a genre. In other words, this is an artist who makes an aesthetic contribution toward liberating public taste from its colonial education. Speaking directly to the masses, an artist revolutionary encourages them in their struggle. The encouragement may be aesthetic or through serving an organization with a dialectical representation of the new social order to which the people aspire. For this reason, these artists protest against the pseudo-democratic student movement stirred up by the sculptor Fernández Urbina. They also maintain that the true ENBA can be found in the Free Art Schools, the Talla Directa [School for Carving, Cutting and Engraving], and the School of Architecture. These were the reasons for the creation of the Escuela Central de Artes y Ciencias de las Artes [Central School for the Arts and Art Sciences], which, if possible, would include the existing technical schools.
In addition to the members of the ¡30-30! Group, this poster was signed by Diego Rivera, Alfredo Ramos Martínez, Guillermo Ruiz, Manuel Maples Arce, Rosario Cabrera, Germán List Arzubide, David Alfaro Siqueiros, Carolina Smith, Rosendo Soto, Leopoldo Méndez, among many others. Their proposal to create the Escuela Central de Artes y Ciencias de las Artes—as included in the second ¡30-30! Manifesto—was carried out by Rivera himself in 1929. This was when the university gained its autonomy and president Antonio Castro Leal resigned; Rivera was then appointed director of the ENBA. The first measure implemented by the painter was to change the name to Escuela Central de Artes Plásticas [Central School for the Visual Arts] and completely redesign the curriculum, in which these precepts would be included.