Revolution on paper:
Mexican prints 1910–1960

22 October 2009 – 5 April 2010

Exhibition closed

Room 90

The exhibition is the first in Europe to focus on the great age of Mexican printmaking in the first half of the 20th century. It features 130 works by over 40 artists including prints by Diego Rivera, José Clemente Orozco and David Alfaro Siqueiros.

Between 1910 and 1920, Mexico was convulsed by a socialist revolution that aimed to topple the elite ruling class and improve conditions for society at large. The left-wing government which emerged laid great emphasis on art as a vehicle to promote the values of the revolution. Walls of public buildings were covered with vast murals, and workshops made prints for mass distribution.

Some of the finest prints from the period were produced by the ‘three greats’ of Mexican art: Diego Rivera, José Clemente Orozco and David Alfaro Siqueiros.

The exhibition includes Rivera’s famous Emiliano Zapata and his horse which has achieved iconic status in 20th-century art. It also features works by artists that rose to prominence after the founding of the Taller del Gráfica Popular (the national print workshop) in 1937, and earlier works by José Guadalupe Posada, who was posthumously recognised by the revolutionaries as the father of printmaking in Mexico.

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  • A lithograph by Diego Rivera

    Emiliano Zapata and his horse, Diego Rivera, 1932, lithograph © 2009, Banco de Mexico Diego Rivera & Frida Kahlo Museums Trust, Mexico D.F. / DACS

  • A lithograph by Francisco Dosamantes

    Dead Soldier, Francisco Dosamantes, 1940, lithograph, copyright unknown

  • A poster by José Chávez Morado

    The laughter of the people - away with your nonsense, José Chávez Morado, 1939, lithograph © DACS 2009

  • >A linocut by Angel Bracho

    Victory!, Ángel Bracho, 1945, linocut, copyright unknown

  • A lithograph by David Alfáro Siqueiros

    Black Woman, David Alfáro Siqueiros, 1935/6, lithograph © DACS 2009

  • A woodcut by Leopoldo Méndez

    The Torches, Leopoldo Méndez, 1947, woodcut, copyright unknown

  • The Graveyard of all the Skeletons by José Guadalupe Posada and Antonio Vanegas Arroyo

    The Graveyard of all the Skeletons, José Guadalupe Posada, 1905, photorelief / letterpress, copyright unknown

  • The Skeleton of Pascual Orozco by José Guadalupe Posada

    The Skeleton of Pascual Orozco, José Guadalupe Posada, 1912, photorelief / letterpress, copyright unknown

  • A lithograph by Alfredo Zalce)

    Propaganda, Alfredo Zalce, 1939, lithograph, copyright unknown

  • A woodcut by Rufino Tamayo

    Grief, Rufino Tamayo, 1930, woodcut

  • A wood-engraving by Leon Underwood

    Woman and Child, Tehuantepec, Leon Underwood, 1928, wood-engraving

  • A portrait of Frida Kahlo by Diego Rivera

    Nude with beads (Frida Kahlo), Diego Rivera, 1930, lithograph © 2009, Banco de Mexico Diego Rivera & Frida Kahlo Museums Trust, Mexico D.F. / DACS

Introductory video to the exhibition