One of the biggest exhibitions to open this autumn in Paris, Mexique: 1900-1950 – organised by the Grand Palais, Paris, Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes and Museo Nacional de Arte de Mexico – tracks Mexican modern art history during a turbulent 50-year period of momentous political and cultural change in the country.
Featuring more than 200 works by more than 60 artists, the exhibition is a comprehensive and well-documented overview of Mexican art during the years before and following the revolution. The exhibition includes works by the three ‘greats’ of Mexican art – Diego Rivera, José Clemente Orozco and David Alfaro Siqueiros, as well as Frida Kahlo’s paintings, compositions by Rufino Tamayo and photographs by Manuel Alvarez Bravo and Tina Modotti.
Before the Mexican Revolution
The first part of the show focuses on interactions between the contemporary art schools of Mexico, Europe and the United States. The impact of realist and cubist schools on the Mexican artists in pre-revolution years is particularly evident in the early works in the exhibition, such as the paintings by Angel Zárraga and Diego Rivera. These artworks, nonetheless, continue to be inspired by Mexican folk art traditions, an influence that only grew stronger in the years following the Revolution.