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A mere three years after her arrival in Mexico, the Argentina critic Raquel Tibol decided to gather various painters’ opinions about the exhibition of contemporary art from the Museum of Modern Art in Paris at the Palacio de Bellas Artes. Diego Rivera complains about the poor quality of the work and the absence of many names that represent what he calls the “French spirit.” He states that the exhibition will disillusion young artists who believe that they will find something new outside of Mexico. Rivera begins the interview with Tibol satirically, “After the War, naiden [a slang form of “nobody”] . . .”. Among other comments, he makes the statement: “Lately I have confirmed my opinion on the high value of the art of Rufino Tamayo, and I now also predict a splendid future for the art of Juan Soriano . . .” .Tibol also gathered the opinions of Felipe Orlando, Alberto Beltrán, Raúl Anguiano and Pablo O’Higgins.


The statements made by Diego Rivera (1886-1957), the ultimate representative of what was known as the Mexican School of Painting, are deliberately confusing and ambiguous. Probably the reason he compares modern French and Mexican artists is to establish which way the scales are tipping. But the surprising recognition he gives in this article to painters such as Rufino Tamayo (1899-1991) and Juan Soriano (1920-2006)would provoke more than one reaction in Mexico’s polarized visual arts world. Neither of these artists could be considered to be part of the movement founded by the artist from Guanajuato. In Rivera’s opinion, the appearance of cubism meant the end of all other aesthetic movements and beginning in the early twentieth century, “its influence covered the entire world.”

Diana Briuolo : CURARE A. C.
CURARE, Espacio crítico para las artes, Mexico City, Mexico

Instituto de Investigaciones Bibliográficas : Biblioteca Nacional/Hemeroteca Nacional