The Murals of Revolutionary Nicaragua, 1979–1992

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9780520081901: The Murals of Revolutionary Nicaragua, 1979–1992

In the years following Nicaragua's 1979 Sandinista Revolution, more than three hundred murals were created by Nicaraguan and international artist brigades. David Kunzle was profoundly moved by the aesthetic and political power of these murals, and when he saw that they were being destroyed after the Sandinistas were voted out in 1990, he resolved to document them. This visually exciting, emotionally compelling book is the result of his efforts.

Today many of Nicaragua's murals have been obliterated, and Kunzle's book may be the only record of these works. Approximately eighty percent of the murals are reproduced here, many with extensive commentary. Artistic styles from the primitivist to the highly sophisticated are represented, showing themes of literacy, health, family, and always the Revolution.

Kunzle outlines the historical conditions in Nicaragua—including U.S. interference—that gave rise to the Revolution and to the murals. He chronicles the politically vindictive destruction of many of the best murals and the rise and fall of Managua's Mural School. Kunzle also refers to other Nicaraguan public media such as billboards and graffiti, the great mural precedent in Mexico, and the more recent attempts at socialist art in Cuba and Chile.

Nicaraguan murals became blackboards of the people, a forum for self-image, self-education, and popular autobiography. Kunzle pleads for the restoration of the surviving murals and for the revival of the mural movement, for it is, he says, "art that belongs to and benefits us all."

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From the Inside Flap:

"The ongoing destruction of the work of Nicaraguan artists is a bitter counterpart to a decade of brutal terror for which one day, in more civilized times, we may feel a fraction of the shame we should. Meanwhile these marvellous and evocative expressions remind us of what could have been, and yet may be."—Noam Chomsky

"David Kunzle has done the Americas a great favor by documenting the glory days of the Sandinista mural movement. Although the murals are "being disappeared," this invaluable resource—and source of hope—remains to inspire future revolutions."—Lucy Lippard, writer and activist

"A splendid documentation of a uniquely international public art, much of it now destroyed, during a fascinating period. It will be essential reference for students of public art and of the Nicaraguan experience."—John Pitman Weber, professor of art at Elmhurst College and muralist

"David Kunzle's comprehensive, superbly illustrated account is both impassioned and scholarly. His genius lies in tying together the political and the cultural in a way that explains the meaning of political events, the mural phenomenon, and the content of individual murals. His narrative is as exciting as the history he describes. The catalogue of murals is by far the most complete inventory of this remarkable cultural movement published to date."—Eva S. Cockcroft, writer and muralist

From the Back Cover:

"The ongoing destruction of the work of Nicaraguan artists is a bitter counterpart to a decade of brutal terror for which one day, in more civilized times, we may feel a fraction of the shame we should. Meanwhile these marvellous and evocative expressions remind us of what could have been, and yet may be." (Noam Chomsky)

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ISBN 10: 0520081900 ISBN 13: 9780520081901
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Book Description Nov 30, 1995. Book Condition: New. New hardcover in dust jacket, with no marks or defects. Clean, sturdy copy. Bookseller Inventory # F6-CMYQ-DD0I

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