• Leopoldo Méndez, La revolución vencerá (The Revolution will Vanquish), 1947

    Leopoldo Méndez, La revolución vencerá (The Revolution will Vanquish), 1947

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1810, 1910, 2010: TEN MEXICAN PRINTS

16 December 2009 - 28 January 2010

2010 marks the anniversary of the commencement of two major events in Mexican history. The first, the Mexican War of Independence, lasted from 1810 to 1821. The second is the Mexican Revolution, which lasted from 1910 to 1920. To mark this significant year, the ESCALA displayed 10 prints on the Mexican Revolution until 28 January 2010. 

Estampas de la revolución mexicana (Stamps of the Mexican Revolution) was a collection of almost 100 prints by sixteen artists of the Taller de Gráfica Popular originally published in 1947. Most of the prints in this display date from 1974. The Taller de Gráfica Popular aimed to promote political and social awareness through graphic art. As the title suggests, these prints focus on the Mexican Revolution and its aims: educating the illiterate, condemning the stealing of land from the campesinos (peasants), and restoring freedom of speech and of the press.

Four of the five artists featured here were members of the Taller - Leopoldo Méndez (one of the founders), Jesús Alvarez Amaya, Alberto Beltrán and Ignacio Aguirre. Francisco Moreno Capdevila's print was created in 1955, eight years after the publication of the Estampas collection. It is included here to show just how important the aims of the Mexican Revolution were even thirty years after its conclusion. Issues such as the rampant corruption of the Mexican government under Porfirio Díaz are addressed by Jesús Alvarez Amaya and Leopoldo Méndez. Imprisonment and death were inevitable realities of the Revolution; Alberto Beltrán and Ignacio Aguirre address death directly. Aguirre depicts imprisonment while also praising a hero of the Mexican Revolution; Emiliano Zapata. Another Mexican hero, Benito Juárez, is featured in one of the prints by Alvarez Amaya. Capdevila's theatre advertisement proves how strongly the goals of the Mexican Revolution resonated throughout the first half of the 20th century.

Caitlyn Collins, guest curator

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