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Exhibition Art in Action: Herblock and Fellow Artists Respond to Their Times

Bearing Witness: Artist as Social Commentator

Leopoldo Méndez (1902–1969). Posada en su taller [Posada in His Workshop], 1953. Linocut. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress. © 2018 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / SOMAAP, Mexico City (005.00.00)
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Bearing Witness: Artist as Social Commentator

This homage by artist Leopoldo Méndez imagines Mexican printmaker José Guadalupe Posada (1852–1913) in his studio, using burin and block to record a scene outside his window of uniformed men attacking unarmed peasants. In 1937, Méndez co-founded Mexico's Taller de Gráfica Popular (TGP, translated as People's Graphic Workshop), which carried forward Posada's legacy of socially-conscious, widely-accessible art for the people. Posada and TGP artists, as well as Mexican muralists Diego Rivera, José Clemente Orozco, and David Alfaro Siqueiros, all exerted a strong influence on artists in the U.S. and elsewhere that still reverberates.

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