What May Come: The Taller de Gráfica Popular and the Mexican Political Print
CHICAGO • Art Institute of Chicago • Ongoing
|In 1945, the Art Institute of Chicago commissioned Mexican printmaker and political activist Leopoldo Méndez to create a custom woodblock print that would be the centerpiece of the artist’s first major exhibition in the United States. Now, almost 70 years later, that print and the original woodblock Mendez carved are part of the exhibition What May Come: The Taller de Gráfica Popular and the Mexican Political Print, on view in the museum’s Jean and Steven Goldman Prints and Drawing Galleries in the Richard and Mary Gray Wing. |
The Taller de Gráfica Popular (the Popular Graphic Art Workshop), or TGP, created some of the most memorable images in mid-century printmaking. The Mexico City–based workshop, founded in 1937 by Méndez, Luis Arenal and American-born Pablo O’Higgins, took up the legacy of the famous Mexican broadside illustrator José Guadalupe Posada. The group created prints, posters, and illustrated publications that were popular, affordable, legible, politically topical, and, above all, formally compelling.
In addition to the commissioned Méndez woodblock print, the exhibition includes more than 100 works from the Art Institute’s rich holdings—one of the most significant TGP collections in the United States. The range of works demonstrates why this collective boasted such international influence and inspired the establishment of print collectives around the world.
Showcasing the TGP’s prolific and varied output, What May Come is organized into thematic sections such as Chicago connections to the TGP, antifascism, national history, daily life, caricature, and popular visual traditions. A Spanish-English catalogue authored by guest curator Diane Miliotes accompanies the exhibition.
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