The subject matter in Andrés Blaisten's collection of Mexican art isn't as political as you might think— and that's kind of the point. The 80 paintings dated between 1907 and 1956 range in style from portraiture to abstract figurative and introduce viewers to some relatively unknown Mexican artists.
“Harold, come over here and look at this,” said a woman at last week's opening of Mexican Modern Painting from the Andrés Blaisten Collection, on view at the San Diego Museum of Art through February.
“This is amazing,” she continued, pointing at “White Over the Nopal” by Guillermo Meza. “And I've never heard of some of these artists—I can't believe it.”
Blaisten later explained that when people think about Mexican art as a genre, they generally think of the highly politicized Mexican muralism movement, led by Diego Rivera, José Orozco and David Alfaro Siqueiros (and everybody's heard of Frida Kahlo).
But the SDMA exhibit is about showing a more complete view of Mexican modern art. Works by Rivera and Siqueiros are indeed part of Blaisten's collection, but he purchased several works by artists whose fame never traveled outside Mexico.
“Most of the time, when you have one powerful movement, the other movements remain in the shadows,” SDMA executive director Roxana Velásquez said. “It's not that this work was forgotten, but the main attention has always been on Mexican muralism…. That's not what you'll see in this show”
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