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.
Given the circumstances of the time, David Alfaro Siqueiros advocated that art should be transparent and dedicated to the struggle; it should be a tool for propaganda that was also open to technical innovation. In his opinion, pure art should wait for the advent of holistic communism. Of particular interest are treatises on art as the reflection of multiple dimensions: social, geographic and physical. Within these three planes, the painter weighs the indigenous past while also connecting it to international aesthetic trends. Nonetheless, he dismisses folk art as a degraded manifestation because of its superficial manners and customs, which Siqueiros links with both Diego Rivera and “Mexican curious” art. He concludes that the “disciplined work of the group” should replace any “individualist deviation,” while maintaining that the liberation of the proletariat will lead to genuine artistic liberation.
David Alfaro Siqueiros (1896–1974) was actually operating outside the directives of the PCM [Mexican Communist Party] when he established the LIP (Lucha Intelectual Proletaria) [Intellectual Proletarian Struggle] and published the newspaper Llamada [The Call]; the party had previously expelled him in order to facilitate his covert work within the Communist International. Given the circumstances, his opinion should be considered as a stance to be followed in doctrinarian terms. Even the header of the newspaper—designed by Siqueiros as a sequence of factory chimneys and whistles to call the worker to action—communicates this idea of obedience, indicating that there was “no other path” to be followed other than the aesthetic track outlined by the muralist himself. This calls to mind his postwar motto: “there is no other path but ours,” which irreparably fractured the unity of the Mexican School of Painting. At the time, Diego Rivera (1886–1957) was the object of a campaign designed to paralyze his Trotskyist activism.