SOUTH BEND, IN.- The Taller de Gráfica Popular (Popular Graphic Arts Workshop), or TGP, an important group of printmakers founded in Mexico City in 1937, created political prints and posters designed to galvanize audiences both in Mexico and around the world. As their country emerged from the Mexican Revolution, a bloody civil war that had pitted impoverished workers against wealthy landowners, these artists produced and circulated thousands of images that expressed the need for social and political reform for the Mexican oppressed. The extremely successful public art of the TGP highlighted the unjust treatment of farmers and peasants and satirized political abuses and excesses, reinforcing the reform movements initiated by the government during and after the revolution. In Mexico, prints had historically served as a critical tool in the struggle for social justice. The Taller continued this tradition of using graphic art as an agent of change, creating a public consciousness about the political and social state of the country.
These artists worked in a period of immense political change as well as rich artistic activity. Their work reflects the issues of post-revolutionary Mexico's political and social upheaval. The political posters, broadsides, books, and political announcements created illustrate the TGP's direct and powerful style as well as their deep commitment and response to the agenda of political reforms that were part of the Cárdenista government in Mexico at that time.
This exhibition and accompanying catalog attempt to advance the growing interest in and scholarship about the artists of the Taller de Gráfica Popular by offering their interpretation of the dignity of the human condition in the context of the social reform movements of the time. Their depictions and representations of workers and farmers, and the social struggles of the people mark the TGP as important revolutionary agents in their own right.