Based on what Rufino Tamayo (1899–1991) said in an interview on September 22, 1947, it appears that the argument veered off to a different track, according to Antonio Rodríguez in his essay, “La pintura mexicana está en decadencia, dice Tamayo. Diego Rivera, José Clemente Orozco y David Alfaro Siqueiros, en declive” [Mexican painting is in decline, says Tamayo. Diego Rivera, José Clemente Orozco, and David Alfaro Siqueiros, all in decline]. There is no mention or criticism of the Comisión Nacional de Pintura Mural: the focus is all on the future of Mexican painting. The discussion addressed the question of whether the Commission should be a political body or poetic and spiritual in nature. In 1947, José Clemente Orozco (1883–1949) was working in the field of abstraction; he had created important works such as the mural at the Escuela Nacional de Maestros and several easel paintings including Los muertos [The Dead] (1931), Columnas cayendo [Falling Columns] (1932), and Paisaje metafísico [Metaphysical Landscape] (1948), among others. Although his remarks, paradoxically, challenged a particular type of abstraction whose only concern was an interplay between lines and colors, he also clarified that “sincere abstraction” could serve other interests beyond fame when linked to experimental proposals like movement and perspective. Elements of this kind can be seen in Tamayo’s production.
It should be noted that Orozco was not looking for confrontation. Although his replies are somewhat ambiguous, particularly in regard to abstract art, there is no denying his acknowledgment of positive elements in Tamayo’s proposal.