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Travel Tip: Art and Archaeology in United States
The Cubist Paintings of Diego Rivera: Memory, Politics, Place



Diego Rivera • No. 9, Nature Morte Espagnole, 1915 • oil on canvas • Gift of Katharine Graham • National Gallery of Art, Washington • Photo courtesy of National Gallery of Art
Diego Rivera
No. 9, Nature Morte Espagnole, 1915
oil on canvas
Gift of Katharine Graham
National Gallery of Art, Washington
Photo courtesy of National Gallery of Art
The Cubist Paintings of Diego Rivera: Memory, Politics, Place
UNITED STATES
WASHINGTON, D.C.  •  National Gallery of Art  •  Ongoing
 
Rivera's work has been studied and shown in depth, yet his cubist period remains a less understood aspect of his career. The Cubist Paintings of Diego Rivera includes some 20 works that demonstrate his distinctive approach to synthetic cubism--his use of complex structures of transparent planes, with a particular emphasis on sensory and memory association.

The exhibition explores the intersection of history and the avant-garde at a key moment in the artist's development. The selection emphasizes the years 1914 and 1915, when Rivera was working in France and Spain. These works also illuminate the artist's deep engagement with themes of identity and place during a period that coincided not only with World War I but also with the most active period of the Mexican Revolution.

Many of the works in the exhibition, such as Zapatista Landscape (1915), incorporate objects that serve as emblems of Mexican identity: sarapes, petates (straw mats), an equipal (reed chair), and guajes (peasant gourds). The inclusion of Mexican motifs and Rivera's frequent use of the colors of the Mexican flag present a souvenir of his native land from afar, filled with revolutionary sympathy, nostalgia, and longing.

Organized by the National Gallery of Art, Washington, in collaboration with the Museo de Arte Moderno, Mexico City, the exhibition coincides with the Gallery's showing of the Courtly Art of the Ancient Maya. The Rivera exhibition will travel to the Museo de Arte Moderno in Mexico City, where it will be on view from September 22, 2004, through January 16, 2005.

National Gallery of Art Web Site


Contact: Tel: (1) 202 737 42 15

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