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Museo de Arte Carrillo Gil in Mexico City Presents Siqueiros: Landscape Painter
David Alfaro Siqueiros, Ilustraciones para el Canto General de Pablo Neruda "En las Alturas de Machu Picchu, 1968". Litografia a color. 58.5 x 102.5 cm. Sala de Art Publico Siqueiros.
MEXICO CITY.- A term Siqueiros used to refer to the sketches that would eventually become murals, "portable paintings", are the works presented in this one-of-a-kind exhibition—consisting of approximately eighty paintings and drawings—that showcase the great muralist’s interest in, and profound study of, the elements that constitute a landscape; namely, open horizons, volcanic ranges, turgid forms, and even the first planes of telluric surfaces that are combined to render a complete emotional and dramatic experience. As with everything else in Siqueiros’ work, the landscape moves, vibrates, and its volumes become disproportionate in order to exalt the monumentality of the work.

In the exhibition Siqueiros: Landscape Painter, visitors will also find an important selection of photographs and documents that shed light on Siqueiros’ important facet as a landscape painter. To deepen the analysis of this genre in his work, a catalog that may be purchased complements the exhibition. It includes twelve essays that strengthen the theses at the center of the curatorial proposals and of the works showcased, as it includes over four decades of artistic work. The collaborators include Irene Herner, Esther Acevedo, Manuel Marín, Jorge Reinoso, and Laura González, among others.

Itala Schmelz, Alberto Torres, América Juárez, and Christopher Fulton were in charge of the exhibition’s curatorship and research. The first one of its kind to ever be presented, it includes approximately one half of the one hundred and fifty landscapes created by Siqueiros during his life and is the result of a more than three-year collaborative effort that led to the compilation of works from more than twenty museums and private collections from Mexico and the U.S.. Likewise, it reveals the renowned Mexican muralist David Alfaro Siqueiros as one of the greatest landscape artists. By having selected some of his most important paintings and drawings from this genre, the exhibition conveys the artist’s dynamic approach to landscape painting and the environment. Through the use of explosive palettes and experimental techniques, the images are charged with the emotion, creation, and destruction always present in Siqueiros’ oeuvre.

Siqueiros did not paint directly from nature, but instead would take and collect photographs, as he even bought several aerial images from the Compañía Mexicana de Aerofoto—the first Mexican aerial photography company—thus, his characteristic curvilinear perspective, better known as cosmic landscape. A large part of his work reflects specific places and describes the Mexican topography. But when Siqueiros found himself behind bars at the Lecumberri prison—also known as the Black Palace—during the 1960s, he was forced to close his eyes and to remember the outdoors as he created some of the most amazing imaginary landscapes.

The exhibition presents arboreal roots, indigenous armies, burning cities, futuristic urban landscapes; progress and science, industrial disasters and transformations, along with selected photographs by this great promoter of a modern Mexico. Siqueiros: Landscape Painter reflects four decades of artistic production through a visual narrative in which the works interact to rebuild a 360-degree landscape.
Following the resounding success of this excellent proposal at the Museum of Latin American Art (MOLAA) in Long Beach, California—it received 14,000 visitors in only four months, was selected by the Los Angeles Times as one of the best exhibitions of 2010, and captured the attention of renowned critic Christopher Night—CONACULTA, the Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes, and the Museo de Arte Carrillo are extending the invitation to the people of Mexico to enjoy this magnificent exhibition that began on May 12th and will end on October 23rd, 2011.

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