Documents of 20th-century Latin American and Latino Art

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  • ICAA Record ID
    825760
    AUTHOR
    Xceron, Jean, 1890-1967
    TITLE
    Who's Who Abroad? / John Xceron
    IN
    The Chicago Daily Tribune (París). -- Apr. 11, 1929
    DESCRIPTION
    ill.
    LANGUAGES
    English
    TYPE AND GENRE
    Newspaper article – Essays
    BIBLIOGRAPHIC CITATION
    Xceron, John. "Who's Who Abroad?" The Chicago Daily Tribune, April 11, 1929.
Synopsis

John Xceron reviews works by Lola Cueto that were exhibited at the Salle de la Renaissance 11 in Paris on February 6, 1929. He begins by saying that the best Mexican art is the traditional folk art created by simple, intuitive people, inspired by the Maya or the Aztecs. He claims that the Mexican painting, sculpture, ceramics, printmaking, and woolen fabrics are of the highest standard, equaled only by the Peruvians and the Egyptians. According to Xceron, Lola Cueto has been influenced by classical art, and is inspired by the traditional Mexican aesthetic. He explains how she began her artistic career as an Impressionist painter at art school, and then started a school for Mexican children, teaching traditional folk art. When she stopped painting she started creating tapestries, using a method that she developed on her own. She created designs in the ancient Aztec and Maya style, and produced wonderful tapestries of paintings by Diego Rivera and Theodore Rousseau. In the reviewer’s opinion, Lola Cueto paints tapestries using geometric forms and original compositions inspired by decorative art, all produced on a sewing machine. Xceron mentions that prominent critics have written about her work, including the well-known French critic André Salmon, whose essay is published in the exhibition’s catalogue. Xceron also announces that Lola Cueto is working on another exhibition that will open soon in Holland and shortly thereafter in New York.

Annotations

This newspaper article was written by a Greek artist, Yiannis Xirocostas (1890-1967), who lived in New York and who was better known by his pen name of John or Jean Xceron. This useful document was written by Xceron—through the column in the Chicago Daily Tribune that he began writing in 1927—kept the North American people abreast of modernist movements in Europe. When Xceron, whose painting was almost entirely abstract, returned to the United States, he joined the American Abstract Artists group. 

This review documents the importance of the exhibition of tapestries by Lola Cueto (1897-1978) who, with her husband, Germán Cueto, was involved with the Latin American and European artistic networks that thrived in Paris in the early years of the twentieth century. It also shows how little non-Latin American artists knew about Mexico; they reveal their ignorance when they describe it approvingly or “extol” the country as though amazed by its pre-Hispanic cultures: “These great artists have reached a high degree of proficiency not only in sculpture and painting, but in pottery…weaving of sarapes…”. 

There are other newspaper and magazine articles, from Paris, Mexico, and Germany, that refer to the exhibition and to Lola Cueto’s tapestries. 

Researcher
Lizette Zaldivar Larrañaga : CURARE A. C.
Team
CURARE, Espacio crítico para las artes, Mexico City, Mexico
Location
Archivo Mireya Cueto