Diego Rivera: A Retrospective

Detroit Institute of Arts, Author, Diego Rivera, Author W. W. Norton & Company $100 (372p) ISBN 978-0-393-02275-9
Rivera portrayed himself in his memoirs as a revolutionary firebrand and visionary artist who repudiated his ties to European art in favor of a new style of mural painting. Yet the essays in this catalogue prove that the Mexican artist fused Cubist space with Futurist movement in epic murals molded from his study of Italian Renaissance frescoes and pre-Colombian sculpture. The first major retrospective of Rivera's works, mounted at the Detroit Institute of Arts, shows that there was much more to Rivera than his murals. Penetrating portraits, soul-baring self-portraits, sensitive nudes and cityscapes, and studies of Indian women are among the pictures reproduced here in 200 color and 325 black-and-white plates. Rivera's travels in the U.S. inspired paintings and drawings which drew on Aztec cosmology to explain industrial society in terms of universal order. Rivera's reputation has declined over the years, his art dismissed by some as leftist propaganda. But the essays in this outstanding album establish that his mural style is miles apart from socialist realism, and the contributors question the superficial distinction between ""high'' and ``folk'' art. (April)
Reviewed on: 06/01/1986
Release date: 06/01/1986
Genre: Nonfiction
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