The politics of twentieth century Mexican mural art

McClory, Sue (2012) The politics of twentieth century Mexican mural art. BA dissertation, University of Portsmouth.

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    In an examination of the renaissance of Mexican mural art, this dissertation will analyse the political aspects which brought about its revival, and how it portrayed cultural and political life within Mexico, and throughout much of the world, during the twentieth century. The method of investigation requires analysis of the contents and composition of the murals through primary sources, both in person and using printed materials. Also a study of the background political, cultural and economic aspects of Mexico, the United States and other associated regions, plus research on relevant individual artists using secondary sources, will provide the context to set the murals within.

    We ask whether the artists or the government set the initial agenda for the creation of mural works, and how their shared vision occurred, giving rise to the term ‘Mexican mural movement’. The background of Mexico in 1920 is discussed in terms of socio-political, economic and cultural aspects of the Diaz period and revolution; the definition of mural art and its uses through history are critically analysed to enable the relevant aspects to be identified. The political scrutiny of the murals is undertaken by a chronological review of works in comparison with the national and international politics of the time, and also through a survey of artists’ political development.

    The politics of socialism and capitalism are played out in murals, by allegory or historical narration, of both Mexican and world issues, contributing to political discussion of the period. But, more importantly, the works create a Mexican cultural identity which results in a large body of work in a consistent style over a period of several decades.

    We conclude that mural tradition was within Mexican culture, re-emerging at a time of need, used for political purposes by those whose lives it touched.

    Item Type: Dissertation
    Departments/Research Groups: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Languages and Area Studies
    Depositing User: Jane Polwin
    Date Deposited: 28 Jun 2012 05:32
    Last Modified: 28 Jan 2015 12:03

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