Leopoldo Mendez Revolutionary Art and the Mexican Print
written by Deborah Caplow
University of Texas Press | ISBN 9780292712508
Hardback – 352 pages
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Leopoldo Mendez (1902-1969) was one of the most distinguished printmakers of the twentieth century, as well as one of Mexico's most accomplished artists. A politically motivated artist who strongly opposed injustice, fascism, and war, Mendez helped form and actively participated in significant political and artistic groups, including the Estridentistas in the 1920s and the Liga de Escritores y Artistas Revolucionarios (LEAR) and the Taller de Grafica Popular (TGP) in the 1930s. To champion Mexican art and artists, Mendez also founded and directed the Fondo Editorial de la Plastica Mexicana, a highly respected art book publishing company. "Leopoldo Mendez" is the first book-length work in English on this major Mexican artist. Profusely illustrated with over one hundred and fifty images, it examines the whole sweep of Mendez's artistic career. Deborah Caplow situates Mendez within both Mexican and international art of the twentieth century, tracing the lines of connection and influence between Mendez and such contemporaries as David Alfaro Siqueiros, Diego Rivera, Jose Clemente Orozco, and printmaker Jose Guadalupe Posada. Caplow focuses on the period in the 1930s when Mendez and his fellow artists in LEAR and TGP played a key role in the development of a Mexican political art movement and a modern Mexican cultural identity. She also describes how Mendez created a body of powerful anti-Fascist images before and during World War II and subsequently collaborated with artists from Mexico and around the world on political printmaking, in addition to publishing books and creating prints for films by the eminent Mexican cinematographer, Gabriel Figueroa.