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Huntington Museum of Art opens modern Mexican art exhibit

May. 13, 2012 @ 12:09 PM

HUNTINGTON — The Huntington Museum of Art will present a new exhibit titled Modern Mexico: Works from the Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art, Auburn University from May 12 to Aug. 5.

The exhibit will highlight a selection of 40 prints and paintings, dating from 1900-2000, from the collection of the Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art at Auburn University. The exhibit is part of HMA’s continued collection-sharing venture with regional and southern museums.

The art of modern Mexico has its beginnings in the satiric black and white prints of José Guadalupe Posada (1852-1913), and two of his energetic prints accompany this show. His highly circulated graphic work influenced successive generations of activist artists, especially during and following the first socialist revolution (1910-1920).

Among those influenced were “Los Tres Grandes” muralists, José Clemente Orozco, Diego Rivera, and David Alfaro Siqueiros, who in the 1930s began a lithographic revival, prompting a number of artists to begin examining, through printmaking, their pre-Hispanic roots as Mexicans, as well as issues of social justice and politics. All three are represented with powerful lithographs. One of the most active print collectives was the Taller de Grafica Popular (People’s Graphic Workshop), founded in 1937 in Mexico City and in existence through 1953. Seven prints from the suite titled Mexican People by member artists will be on view, as well as other works by members of the group.

Rufino Tamayo, Francisco Zuniga, and Francisco Corzas Chávez, who turned away from social commentary and concentrated on their individual styles are each represented by strong works. Prints and paintings by Alejandro Colunga, Francisco Toledo, Ismael Vargas and Jorge López Garcia, all younger Mexican artists, bring the viewer up to the 21st century. Also on view will be a selection of prints by a number of international artists who were drawn to the Mexican art scene, including Edith Bry, Leonora Carrington, and Jean Charlot. 

This exhibit is sponsored by Macy’s, the Isabelle Gwynn and Robert Daine Exhibition Endowment, the West Virginia Division of Culture and History, and West Virginia Commission on the Arts. This program is presented with financial assistance from the West Virginia Division of Culture and History, and the National Endowment for the Arts, with approval from the West Virginia Commission on the Arts.

For more information on exhibits and events at HMA, visit www.hmoa.org or call (304) 529-2701. HMA is fully accessible.