Thursday, February 10, 2011

Jose Guadalupe Posada and the Taller de Gráfica Popular

In 1937, the Taller de Gráfica Popular (or the "People's Graphic Workshop") was founded in Mexico by a group of artists led principally by Leopoldo Méndez (1902-1969), Pablo O'Higgins (1904-1983) and Luis Arenal (1908-1985). The “TGP” was a artists' collective concerned mainly with using art to advance social movements. The political activism that flowed from their collective energy influenced many collaborations in Mexico and abroad. Most scholars and the TGP artists themselves would agree that the works of Jose Guadalupe Posada were foundational toward influencing and inspiring their work. Although Posada and publisher Antonio Vanegas Arroyo rarely displayed work that was as overtly expressive as the artists of the TGP, they truly did inspire them and many others. In this image Leopoldo Méndez pays homage to Posada. He positions Posada, burin in hand, with a studious gaze out the workshop window where Rurales are at work. On the table Méndez shows us Posada’s engraving in reverse and in the background, the printshop workers look toward Posada with seeming anticipation if not admiration.

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