Documents of 20th-century Latin American and Latino Art

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Synopsis

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. 

Annotations

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. 

Researcher
Leticia Torres : CURARE A. C.
Team
CURARE, Espacio crítico para las artes, Mexico City, Mexico
Credit
D.R. © 2011 Banco de México, “Fiduciario” en el Fideicomiso relativo a los Museos Diego Rivera y Frida Kahlo. Av. Cinco de Mayo No. 2, Col. Centro, Del. Cuauhtémoc 06059, México, D.F.
Location
Fondo Reservado de la Biblioteca Justino Fernández del Instituto de Investigaciones Estéticas, Universidad  Nacional Autónoma de México