ARTH 396/1-CA - Art and Culture: 100 years of Mexican Art
INSTRUCTOR: NURIA CARTON DE GRAMMONT
A particular type of modern, Mexican art, notably the iconic work of socialist realist muralists and the famous Surrealist, Frida Kahlo, has been internationally recognized and celebrated. This course proposes to expand students' understanding and knowledge of twentieth-century Mexican art through an overview of modern and contemporary Mexican artistic production. Students will learn about the reaffirmation of nationalism in the construction of a post-revolutionary visual culture; the confrontational role of the Mexican avant-garde; Mexican surrealism and abstraction, and will learn how to understand these various forms of artistic practice in relation to (and at times how they worked against) the country's art historical canon. We will discuss, for example, the rise of "contracultura", or anti-culture, during the 1968 Olympic games in Mexico City, as well as ask how institutional spaces, such as museums and galleries, responded to the rise of socially engaged, urban interventions during the 1970s. Such artist-interventionists, also known collectively as "los grupos", provide us with an important precedent to the subsequent turn in Mexican art, the "Neo-Mexicanist" movement, which has been marked by a new search for Mexican cultural identity. The course will conclude with an examination of contemporary Mexican art production, situating it not within a national discourse on art, but rather within the globalized, international art scene.