In Celebration of Mexican Modernism

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Inspired by Paint the Revolution, the landmark show on Mexican modernism at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, we’ve created a new installation that echoes the movement’s celebration of folk tradition and indigenous Mexican culture. Curated from the Eye’s Gallery collection, these recent original paintings, hand-colored prints, and pen-and-ink drawings are at once a legacy of the Modernists and a continuation of the robust folk tradition to which Eye’s Gallery is dedicated.

Demetrio Garcia Aguilar’s original gouache painting shows a divided figure, connected by two hearts, likely referencing Frida Kahlo’s iconic The Two Fridas.  In Kahlo’s painting, she presents European and Mexican versions of herself side by side, holding hands with connected hearts, at odds with and yet part of each other. Notably, the European Frida holds scissors with which she has severed an artery.  Aguilar’s painting explores dichotomies and the connections between life and death, sun and moon, day and night, and male and female. His use of calla lilies, a popular symbol for resurrection, reinforces the concept of a life-death-rebirth cycle.  In addition, the sun is associated with the spring rituals, when life is reborn and flourishes, in pre-Colombian cultures. Images of the prickly pear cacti, the official Mexican plant, also populate his landscape.

Demetrio Garcia Aguilar, original gouache painting, $375, 16.5 x 21.5″

 

This drawing made by an artist during incarceration features a nightmarish scene in which animals, a human heart, a man in a Christ-like pose, and alebrijes (fantastical creatures common in Oaxacan-Mexican folk art) swirl chaotically above a prone figure crying in her sleep.

Prison art from Mexico City, 2002 – ballpoint pen $220 20x 16.5″

 

Felipe Morales’ hand-colored print depicts a procession of peasants in a bucolic Mexican landscape.

Felipe Morales, hand colored print (2001), $450 23 x 26″

 

Angelica Myunez’ ink drawing depicts a couple gathering for a graveside celebration.

Angelica Myunez, india ink on handmade paper, 2003, $150, 18 x 13.5″

 

Come see these rare original works and enjoy the rest of our beautiful collection of Mexican folk art that spans contemporary, vintage, and even pre-Columbian times. This vibrant assortment of work, impressive in its breadth, provides a rich and unforgettable context for the installation.