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Artwork for the masses borne of revolution; An exhibition highlights the golden age of Mexican printmaking.
Los Angeles Times - Los Angeles, Calif.
Subjects: Visual artists; Art exhibits; Printing
Author: Meisler, Stanley
Date: Oct 29, 2006
Start Page: F.13
Section: Sunday Calendar; Part F; Calendar Desk
Abstract (Document Summary)

The show will surely serve as a revelation to many visitors. Not only does it make clear that muralists [Diego Rivera], [Jose Clemente Orozco] and [David Alfaro Siqueiros] - - described as "los tres grandes" in the catalog -- and the other titan of 20th century Mexican art, Rufino Tamayo, were master printmakers. It also introduces a bevy of other fine Mexican artists -- especially Leopoldo Mendez -- who were masters as well.

Rivera produced only 13 prints in his lifetime, and almost all are on display in the show. Rivera was encouraged to try his hand at lithography by the Weyhe Gallery of New York, one of the few American dealers interested in prints and Mexican art in those years. The gallery's director, Carl Zigrosser, later became curator of prints at the Philadelphia museum, and his personal collection, purchased after his death in 1975, became the nucleus of the museum's strong collection of modern Mexican prints.

PEOPLE'S HERO: Diego Rivera's print "[Emiliano Zapata]" copies a detail of one of his murals in the Palace of Cortes in Cuernavaca depicting Emiliano Zapata.; LESSER-KNOWN MASTER: In "Posada in His Workshop (Homage to Posada)," Leopoldo Mendez portrays [Jose Guadalupe Posada], a critic of the regime of [Porfirio Diaz], working on a woodblock depicting a brutal scene outside his window.; PHOTOGRAPHER: Images from Philadelphia Museum of Art; BITING SATIRE: Jose Clemente Orozco, a prolific printmaker, mocks those men who try to pass themselves off as revolutionary heroes in "Generals."

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