Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Monografia: Jose Guadalupe Posada

Published in 1930, the Posada Monografia was the first major publication devoted to Posada's work. The publisher was Francis Toor of Mexican Folkways and it was really a collaboration of many artists of the time.
    In addition to Francis Toor, Paul O'Higgins (aka Pablo Esteban O'Higgins, b. 03/01/1904 - d. 07/16/1983) pulled prints from the original plates that were at the Vanegas Arroyo Publishing house. Blas and his son Arsacio were running the printing house in those days. Diego Rivera wrote a short forward for the publication and Jean Charlot was also involved. This publication helped bring Posada's name into the spotlight and in many ways could be considered the defining work that allowed many people to see for the first time who the artist was that created so many of the images that had appeared in dozens of publications in Mexico from about 1872 and even after Posada's death in 1913.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Mexico's Taller de Gráfica Popular, Jose Guadalupe Posada and Today's Art

This lithograph image by José Chávez Morado (1909-2002), a member of the Taller de Gráfica Popular (TGP), entitled: “LA RISA DEL PUEBLA.” Con su música a otra parte. [“The laughter of the people.” With its music elsewhere, Mexico City, 1939],  is an example of the quality of the art generated by the TGP. Jose Guadalupe Posada began his career as a lithographer and later shifted his efforts to engravings and etchings. The TGP formed to utilize art toward communicating social causes of their time. Posada was a major influence on their work whether it was lithography or engraving. There is a path to the art of today that runs from  Posada through the TGP. Along the way there are many artists, publishers and historians who have contributed to what we see in contemporary art collectives and the imagery of social movements. We will post many examples of these images/connections in the future.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

The Dollar Battles the Peso-- Touché!

This timeless political cartoon was published as a halfsheet broadside by A. Vanegas Arroyo and was used several times by the publishing house as an illustration accompanied by text looking at the battle of the US dollar and the Mexican peso (the peso as far as this illustration goes is winning). Unsigned but attributed to Posada it needs few words, utilizing humor and creative expression to communicate the story. As a testimony to the collaboration of the two men, the cartoon is as relevant today as it was when it appeared over 100 years ago.