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Regarding the exhibition and awards of the I Bienal Interamericana de Pintura y Grabado [First Inter-American Biennial of Painting and Printmaking] (1958), the criticism by the journalist Socorro García is negative, especially with respect to the jury—which both selected the works and chose the winners. Above all, this short article attacks David Alfaro Siqueiros, who was both an exhibitor and a judge at the Biennial. Deeming the participation of Siqueiros an "unfortunate spectacle," she denounces the involvement of and manipulation by the Frente Nacional de Artes Plásticas [National Visual Arts Front], which restricted invitations to its own members. In García’s opinion, the Frente Nacional, led by Siqueiros, are adherents of a type of realism that is both academic and highly orthodox.


The plea by Socorro García, a well-known intellectual on the Mexican art scene, is not just an attack on the realism of the stagnant Mexican School of Painting. It is also an appeal to those critics on the jury who were not in agreement with how the event was being run. David Alfaro Siqueiros (1896-1974) served as the Mexican representative to the Biennial along with Jorge Juan Crespo de la Serna and Justino Fernández. In fact, the Cuban representative, painter Amelia Peláez, pulled out of the discussions based on what she reported to be “an openly Communist bias in the decisions.” This short article by García is the first of a number of articles that would launch a vehement defense of abstraction in painting.

Diana Briuolo : CURARE A. C.
CURARE, Espacio crítico para las artes, Mexico City, Mexico
Instituto de Investigaciones Bibliográficas : Biblioteca Nacional/Hemeroteca Nacional