Anarchism and Visual Culture in Greater Mexico, 1910-1950
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This dissertation explores the influence of anarchism on the development of modern art in Mexico and the Americas from 1910 to 1950. It argues that art was an integral component of anarchist movements and that the philosophy and politics of anarchism guided major aesthetic debates about modern art in Mexico. Two key figures anchor this study: Ricardo Flores Magón (1874-1922) was an anarchist writer, activist, and head of the Junta Organizadora del Partido Liberal Mexicano, an anarcho-communist group of exiled Mexican anarchists living in the U.S. Dr. Atl (1875-1964) was a landscape painter, early proponent of muralism, and promoter of Mexican folk art. These figures are a starting point for unveiling a wide network of well-known and marginalized artists, writers, and intellectuals who engaged with anarchist philosophies. Using previously unexplored archival sources, correspondence, and unpublished manuscripts, this study examines a range of different artistic works—paintings and murals, cartoons and drawings, correspondence and book illustrations—that ranged in form and style from realism to impressionism and expressionism. By examining the reproduction and translation of these works throughout Mexico, the U.S., and South America, this dissertation also shows how anarchist art production transcended linguistic and cultural divides and furthered efforts to construct a hemispheric network of transborder solidarity.
Latin American studies
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