Mexico's Revolutionary Avant-Gardes: From Estridentismo to %C2%A130-30!

Tatiana Flores. Yale Univ., $65 (376p) ISBN 978-0-300-18448-8
Rutgers art historian Flores charts a strikingly clear and insightful course through Mexican avant-garde art in the early 20th century. Taking as its departure poet Manuel Maples Arce's Actual No. 1, a manifesto affixed to walls across Mexico City in 1921, Flores argues for an understanding of the resulting Estridentismo and ¡30-30! movements that is broadly engaged in both localized and global art history. Rather than accepting Mexican post-revolutionary art as a provincial community that eagerly accepted lessons and influence from Western modernism, she demonstrates in careful detail the ways that a variety of artists and poets challenged and impacted the development of art practices both in their home and abroad. Pushing toward a collective and politically engaged manifestation of the avant-garde, Flores draws freely from murals, journalism, poetics, and planar painting as equally valid sources of artistic development. Her extensive research would feel exhausting had it not been paired with such sharp prose, nuanced personalities, and fruitful readings of the art itself. While the text speaks to academics, its consistently engaging voice and the impressive reproductions of rare Estridentismo and ¡30-30! images extend it beyond a specialized audience, making an understudied moment in art history appear both fresh and vital again. Color illus. (June)
Reviewed on: 06/24/2013
Release date: 06/01/2013
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