New exhibit at Museum of Art showcases the work of Mexico’s moderninsts


From Museum Reports

The Andrés Blaisten Collection of 20th-century Mexican art by many of the country’s most noted painters is on view at The San Diego Museum of Art in Balboa Park through Feb. 19.

Curators said visitors would experience a selection of 80 paintings dated between 1907 and 1956, including those from María Izquierdo, Diego Rivera, David Alfaro Siqueiros, and Rufino Tamayo, which offer a diverse representation of Mexican modernism.

Although the history of Mexican art is vast and important, works produced between 1920 and 1950 have garnered the most international attention. During this period, Mexico experienced a renaissance in the visual arts as artists, many of whom had studied in Europe, began applying European derived ideologies and techniques to a Mexican aesthetic. Modern Mexican art, however, does not begin and end with the works of Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera.

“ ‘Mexican Modern Painting from the Andrés Blaisten Collection’ is a comprehensive survey of Mexican modernism and allows for deeper understanding of the many factors that have contributed to, enhanced, and furthered what we consider to be modern Mexican painting,” curators wrote in a press release advancing the show. “This exhibition encourages examination and discussion regarding the presence of surrealism in Mexico, the role of Mexico City as a major art center, the influence of the open-air art school, the role of easel painting in the careers of artists more often associated with Mexican muralism, the contributions of foreign artists like Olga Costa and Jean Charlot, and the emphasis on indigenismo — the increased interest, following the end of the Mexican Revolution in 1920, in portraying the indigenous cultures — in the development of Mexican modernism.”

The works complement the museum’s own holdings in its permanent collection of works by Rivera, Tamayo, Ramos Martínez, and Mérida, and it offers an opportunity for visitors to learn about Modern Mexican painting from an extensive collection.

The exhibition was organized by the Phoenix Art Museum and The San Diego Museum of Art in cooperation with the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de México.

If you go

• What: Mexican Modern Painting from the Andrés Blaisten Collection

• When: Closed Mondays. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays-Saturdays, noon to 5 p.m. Sundays

• Where: The San Diego Museum of Art, 1450 El Prado in Balboa Park,

• Tickets: $12-$4.50; free to members

• Contact: (619) 232-7931

• Website: