Firsts Diego Rivera: A Retrospective

ISBN 13: 9780393022759

Diego Rivera: A Retrospective

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9780393022759: Diego Rivera: A Retrospective

A celebration of a renowned artist and political activist.

In a career that spanned sixty years, Diego Rivera produced some of the most distinctive and socially powerful works in modern art. Rivera was, in a real sense, a twentieth-century renaissance man. He was a painter, printmaker, sculptor, book illustrator, one of the first collectors of pre-Columbian art, and a political activist. In both the United States and Mexico, Rivera's monumental frescos gave life to revolutionary themes, often offending critics as well as the public. In New York's Rockefeller Center, for instance, his murals were destroyed because of public outrage over their strongly pro-communist content. Throughout his mature works, on this continent and abroad, Rivera was a champion of the oppressed. This volume celebrates the 100th anniversary of the artist's birth. Its 200 color plates and 325 black-and-white photographs illustrate Rivera's life and work from his early years at the Mexican Academy of San Carlos and studies in Spain, his subsequent eleven-year sojourn in Paris and brief involvement with Cubism in the first part of this century, to his efforts to establish a truly Mexican style in the murals for which he is most famous. Accompanying Rivera's work are essays by noted scholars reevaluating his place in the history of modern art. This book was originally published to coincide with the first major North American retrospective ever mounted of the artist, at the Detroit Institute of the Arts, where Rivera's finest works in the United States―the Detroit Industry Frescos―remain as vivid today as when they were completed fifty years ago. 200 color plates and 325 b/w photographs

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About the Author:

Linda Bank Downs is executive director of the College Art Association. She formerly served as curator of education at the Detroit Institute of Arts and head of education at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC.

From Publishers Weekly:

Rivera portrayed himself in his memoirs as a revolutionary firebrand and visionary artist who repudiated his ties to European art in favor of a new style of mural painting. Yet the essays in this catalogue prove that the Mexican artist fused Cubist space with Futurist movement in epic murals molded from his study of Italian Renaissance frescoes and pre-Colombian sculpture. The first major retrospective of Rivera's works, mounted at the Detroit Institute of Arts, shows that there was much more to Rivera than his murals. Penetrating portraits, soul-baring self-portraits, sensitive nudes and cityscapes, and studies of Indian women are among the pictures reproduced here in 200 color and 325 black-and-white plates. Rivera's travels in the U.S. inspired paintings and drawings which drew on Aztec cosmology to explain industrial society in terms of universal order. Rivera's reputation has declined over the years, his art dismissed by some as leftist propaganda. But the essays in this outstanding album establish that his mural style is miles apart from socialist realism, and the contributors question the superficial distinction between "high" and "folk" art.
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Published by W W Norton & Co Inc (1986)
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