Print Making Revolution: Mexican Prints and the Taller de Gráfica Popular
November 7, 2013 – January 12, 2014
In Mexico City, during the political and social unrest of the post-Mexican Revolution, the art of the print had an undeniable impact on the everyday lives of the struggling people’s history and culture. This exhibition will introduce the Central New York community to the important artists and artwork produced at the Taller de Gráfica Popular (The People’s Graphic Workshop), or TGP. Founded by Leopoldo Méndez, Luis Arenal and American born Pablo O’Higgins, this influential workshop advanced a variety of revolutionary ideals and causes, including the formation of organized labor, the fight for civil rights, and an active campaign against fascism.
The exhibition is organized into four subjects. The first acts as precursor to the TGP, highlighting the prints of artists that helped to define the Mexican print landscape early in the 20th century. These figures include Jean Charlot, José Gaudalupe Posada, and the “Big Three”: Diego Rivera, José Clemente Orozco and David Siqueiros. The exhibition transitions into the artists of the TGP, with emphasis on the work on Leopoldo Méndez, but also includes Ángel Bracho, Isidoro Ocampo, and Alfredo Zalce, among others.
Estampas de la Revolución
The third part of the exhibition focuses on the linocut portfolio Estampas de la Revolución Mexicana, a vividly illustrated narration of the Mexican Revolution, published by the workshop in 1947. Finally, the exhibition highlights the gringos– Americans working at the TGP during the early and influential days of the prolific workshop, including Charles White, John Woodrow Wilson and Elizabeth Catlett.
The impact of the TGP reached well beyond the conventional boundaries of art making, affecting political and social movements in Mexico and the United States. Collaborating institutions include the Library of Congress, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, the Blanton Museum of Art, and the University of New Mexico Art Museum.
This exhibition is funded in part through a grant from The IFPDA Foundation.