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Diferencia y continuidad en el arte moderno mexicano
N 19° 25' 21.403" W 99° 10' 47.528"

(In english: Difference and continuity in modern Mexican art)

Museo de Arte Moderno (Museum of Modern Art). From September 06th to November 20th, 2011.

During most of the twentieth century, the development of art in Mexico was usually explained from a quite fragmented and sequential historical perspective. The different artistic practices existing in the country have been put together into arbitrary groups, based on their “common” plastic inclinations and topical concerns, and organizing them chronologically. Show More

But a series of radical ruptures has underlined the boundaries between these first groups; and evidenced them as confined segments, without communications oDiferencia y continuidad en el arte moderno mexicano, 2011, vista de la exhibición, Museo de Arte Moderno, Ciudad de México. r relationship amongst them, that share neither origins nor ideas and which fail to participate within a same cultural continuum. Thus, the evolution of modern Mexican art seems to have followed a path of confrontation. Such oppositions arise from the dichotomy of mutually excluding artistic models of representation such as figurative vs. abstract art, or from the disagreements between thematic concerns, political and social content vs. formal experimentation and research.

These opposition patterns have become vital in order to “understand” and address the artistic production in Mexico during most of the twentieth century. Given this view, it is necessary to imagine new alternatives, concerned with investigating issues and connections that are neither listed nor considered in this clash of contraries. Instead of conceiving the development of modern art through its differences, as a series of successive ruptures, we should take into account its continuity. By doing this it is possible to establish connections which, through the lenses of simplified historical perspective, we will find improbable, and even impossible. Similarly, the classification of art practices into movements, groups or schools, must be broadened in order to reveal all the possible that remain hidden inside terminology.

Using the collection of MAM, this exhibition offers a panorama of the artistic production in Mexico from the early decades of the twentieth century up to the seventies, in a way that is not limited to this model of oppositions, were representation or subject matters are set in contrast to each other. While the exhibition is organized in several nucleus which may remind us of the traditional chronological organization of successive qualifying blocks, this is done precisely in order to challenge and question this prevailing model. The differences highlighted here are also used as a means to explore the possible establishment of a continuum between different practices, whether in the thematic or formal level, despite that their dissimilarities appeared irreconcilable. Also, by organizing the artistic production under the traditional labels of groups or schools, the exhibition aims to show how limiting or excluding these terms may be. Certain disruptive presences in the exhibition are placed there with the aim of making explicit the existing contact between artists in Mexico with the practices and principles of the vanguards of the United States, Europe and the rest of Latin America. Against a simplified history of modern Mexican art based exclusively on antagonistic relationships, this exhibition aims to highlight continuity and dialogue which are not subjected to the national territory.

Frida Kahlo, David Alfaro Siqueiros, Tina Modotti, Rufino Tamayo, José Clemente Orozco, Diego Rivera, Henry Moore, Saturnino Herrán, Remedios Varo, Leonora Carrington, Luis Buñuel, Sergei Eisenstein
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