Mexico and Modern Printmaking

A Revolution in the Graphic Arts, 1920 to 1950

Edited by John Ittmann; With contributions by Innis Howe Shoemaker, James M. Wechsler, and Lyle W. Williams

View Inside Price: $65.00

November 15, 2006
302 pages, 9 x 12
25 b/w + 186 duotone + 91 color illus.
ISBN: 9780300120042

Published in association with the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the McNay Art Museum, San Antonio

Mexico witnessed an exciting revival of printmaking alongside its better-known public mural program in the decades after the 1910–20 revolution. Major artists such as José Clemente Orozco, Diego Rivera, David Alfaro Siqueiros, and Rufino Tamayo produced numbers of prints that furthered the social and political reforms of the revolution and helped develop a uniquely Mexican cultural identity. This groundbreaking book is the first to undertake an in-depth examination of these prints, the vital contributions Mexico’s printmakers made to modern art, and their influence on coming generations of foreign artists.
Along with a thorough discussion of the printmaking practices of Orozco, Rivera, Siqueiros, Tamayo, and others, the book features some 300 handsomely illustrated prints––many previously unpublished. Essays by distinguished scholars investigate the dynamic cultural exchange between Mexico and other countries at this time. They analyze the work of such Mexican artists as Emilio Amero and Jesús Escobedo, who traveled abroad, and such international artists as Elizabeth Catlett and Jean Charlot, who came to Mexico. They also discuss the important roles of the Taller de Gráfica Popular, a flourishing print workshop founded in Mexico City in 1937, and the Weyhe Gallery in New York, which published and distributed prints by many of these artists during the 1920s and 1930s. Together, the prints and essays tell the fascinating history of Mexico’s graphic-arts movement in the first half of the 20th century.

John Ittmann is Curator of Prints, and Innis Howe Shoemaker is the Audrey and William H. Helfand Senior Curator of Prints, Drawings, and Photographs, both at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. James M. Wechsler is an independent scholar based in New York. Lyle W. Williams is Curator of Prints and Drawings at the McNay Art Museum, San Antonio.


Frist Center for the Visual Arts, Nashville (February 1 – April 15, 2007)

Philadelphia Museum of Art (October 21, 2006 – January 14, 2007)

Phoenix Art Museum (June 29 – September 16, 2007)

McNay Art Museum, San Antonio (October 3, 2007 – January 6, 2008)

“Well-researched and accessible writing brings the reader through the history and development of Mexican printmaking. . . . This book is a fascinating look at how Mexican printmaking influenced and contributed to the much more recognized government commissioned murals, as well as helped to define what it is to be Mexican.”—Chris Force, Alarm

"This beautifully illustrated volume is recommended for academic and larger public libraries."—Library Journal

"This stunning catalogue contains almost everything anyone would want to know about an important subject that has received far too little attention. . . . Contributors to this new catalogue have taken a fresh look at existing material, updated it and provided new information, including elusive death dates. . . . The prints and posters in the exhibition, drawn almost entirely from the collections of the two organizing museums, are magnificent. Such a lavish display of Mexican prints in the USA has rarely, if ever, been seen, and like all great exhibitions it makes the viewer long for more."—Reba White Williams, Print Quarterly

“Together, the prints and essays [of Mexico and Modern Printmaking] give a comprehensive account of the history of Mexico’s graphic arts movement.” - Marta Finaldi, Burlington

Winner of the 2007 International Fine Print Dealers Association Book Award.

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