Mexican Modern Art 1910 - 1950 (29)


Source: WTL photograph© at the Special Exhibition of "Paint the Revolution: Mexican Modernism 1910 - 1950," at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, December 13, 2016.
Image: This photograph was taken in the Philadelphia Art Museum exhibition of a reproduction of a complex four-panel mural titled "Portrait of the Bourgeoisie" (1939-40) by David Alfaro Siqueiros, Luis Arenal, Antonio Pujol (1913-95), and Josep Renau (Spanish, 1907-82). Pyroxylin on cement and glass. (Merriam-Webster Dictionary: pyroxylin is "a flammable mixture of nitrocelluloses used especially in making plastics and water-repellent coatings (as lacquers)." It was created in a staircase of the Mexican Electricians' Union in Mexico City. In point of fact, the artists were nearly finished with this work when Siqueiros, Arenal, and Pujol attempted to assassinate Trotsky in nearby Coyoacán, after while failure they went into hiding. Renau finished the work.
Comments: José Renau painted a legend about this work, which says: [The four muralists] "represent the current development of capitalism toward its death; the demagogue, secretly put into motion by the power of money, pushes the masses toward the grand slaughter; a monstrous mechanism, crowned by the eagle of imperialism, continues the general function of capitalism, transforming the blood of the worker--who makes up the infra-structure of the current economic system--into torrents of gold that feed the different forms of global imperialism, generator of war; the revolution surges impetuously, committed to putting an end to the exploitation and slaughter that sustain the class regime of our time; crowning everything, the sun of liberty shines above a set of elements symbolizing labor, solidarity, peace, and justice." catalog: Paint the Revolution: Mexican Modernism 1910-1950. Eds. Matthew Affron, Mark A. Castro, Dafne Cruz Porchini, and Renato González Mello. Philadelphia: Philadelphia Museum of Art, Museo del Palacio de Bellas Artes, Mexico City, and Yale University Press, 2016, p. 183.
For other paintings and murals by Siqueiros in this series on Mexican Modern art, see: => #4; => #16; => #17; and => #27.
In a way, this mural by Siqueiros et al is a counterpart to Diego Rivera's monumental mural in the main stairwell of the Palacio Nacional, Mexico City. The title of this mural is: "History of Mexico from the Conquest to the Future" (1929-1930); see: => Diego Rivera, #18.
Or, the mural by Siqueiros et at is a counterpart to Rivera's mural at Rockefeller Center / Palacio de Bellas Artes, Mexico City: => Diego Rivera, #31.
For a focus on each of the four panels from left to right and above, see: => Bourgeoisie, #29a; => Bourgeoisie, #29b; => Bourgeoisie, #29c; => Bourgeoisie, #29d.