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The painter and engraver Fanny Rabel directs an ironic, open letter to Diego Rivera because of the declarations he had made four months earlier in the same publication. [See doc. no. 794985] In the name of the young generations, Rabel asks Rivera if a change in the path of art occurred because of what they taught young artists. All this occurred in the context of some public declarations in favor of Rufino Tamayo and Juan Soriano. Because of this, she asks: Should we follow the path of José Clemente Orozco, Diego Rivera and David Alfaro Siqueiros? The artist vacillates: she does not believe she can take the words of the Guanajuato native, Rivera, as “one more joke” while at the same time she asks him to “direct them in a positive sense.”
Fanny Rabel (1922-2008) was an engraver, muralist and painter of Polish origin. Her last name at birth was Rabinovich. She was a naturalized citizen of Mexico and belonged to the "Los Fridos": a group of artists that were students of Frida Kahlo (1907-54) at the La Esmeralda School of Fine Arts attached to the Secretaría de Educación Pública [SEP, Ministry of Public Education]. Founded by four painters at the end of the 1940s, Los Fridos were dedicated to ensuring the continuity of the Escuela Mexicana, which had been founded by the muralists two decades earlier. Rabel defended a figurative aesthetic of "man as he is and not as he is in his dreams"; she disdained "the forms of expression that were less severe than realism . . . merely formalist manifestations." Her question "should we change paths?" did not allude only to the well-known phrase of David Alfaro Siqueiros (1896-1974): "no hay más ruta que la nuestra" [there is no other path but ours]. It seems it was an attempt to have Rivera—who was quite ill at that time—clarify his posture toward the trend that encompassed his work.
This article is yet another on the clash of generations that occurred in the 1950s.