Texas A&M University-Kingsville

Ben Bailey Art Gallery is site of historic Mexican art by Bustos

Ben Bailey Art Gallery - 09/28/12 - 11/02/12

Contact: Julie Navejar
julie.navejar@tamuk.edu or 361-593-2590

One of Mexico’s most significant cultural assets is its legacy within the history of art. Mexico produces influential visual art that successfully extends far beyond the geographic borders of its creation and continues to impact and educate the world. In the printmaking medium, Mexico has truly created a masterful proportion of original visual art embodying the ever-changing spirit of the nation.

The exhibit Arturo Garcia Bustos: Art in Post-Revolutionary Mexico presents the legacy and history of Mexican art. The Bustos exhibit will be on display at the Ben Bailey Art Gallery at Texas A&M University-Kingsville starting Thursday, Oct. 4, and continuing through Thursday, Nov. 1. An official opening ceremony will be held at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 9. Octavio Fernandez Barrios, curator for the show and director of the Museo Nacional de la Estampa in Mexico City, will be the guest speaker.

The exhibit is part of the university’s Presidential Performing and Visual Arts Series (PPVAS).

Barrios is a renowned expert on the history of art in Mexico and specializes in modern and contemporary art. He has taught classes in these areas at the University of Morelos, Institute of Technological and Superior Studies in Monterrey and at various other universities as a guest speaker. He also is an expert in the conservation and restoration of art pieces and esthetics and production of art, as well as developing a variety of art projects in Mexico and serving as curator for various shows in the United States.

The exhibit features 44 original prints by Bustos, who is recognized as one of the greatest Mexican lithographers and as one of the best Mexican painters and muralists. His murals can be seen in the Oaxaca room of the Museum of Modern Art in Mexico, the metro station at the University of Mexico and the stairways of the Municipal Palace in Oaxaca, just to name a few.

In 1999, Bustos and his wife, Rina Lazo, a famous artist in her own right, conducted a master’s class in Italy, teaching the art of the mural.

As the result of the political and social upheavals of the Mexican Revolution from 1910 to the early 1920s, the experimentation and process-driven media of printmaking provided an inexpensive avenue of creating visual narrative intersecting elements of political, social and artistic revolution. From these political and artistic experimentations emerged printmakers that continue creating striking narratives facilitating social commentary.

The artwork of Bustos, one of Mexico’s most renowned artists and master printmakers, represents this paradigm shift in Mexican art. He is one of the last surviving students who worked under Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera. Those students were known as Los Fridos.

Bustos was born in Mexico City near the Zocalo. The cultural and political environment fascinated the youthful Bustos, as he is called by his friends and family, and greatly influenced his artistic development. In 1941, when he was 15, he entered the Escuela Nacional de Artes Plasticas and the following year entered the Escuela de Pintura y Escultura, where his teachers were Kahlo, Feliciano Pena, Agustin Lazo and Maria Izquierdo.

In 1945, he was one of four students who followed Kahlo to Coyoacan, where he entered the Taller Grafica Popular and participated in founding the group Artistas Jovenes Revolucionarios. It was then he met Rina Lazo, who was assistant to Rivera at the time. She would become his partner and wife for over 60 years. They share the Casa de la Malinche, where they both paint and create engravings.

In 1952, the Frente Nacional de Artes Plasticas was founded, recognizing that this group of artists would be the representative of the workers in the arts in Mexico. In 1953, he went to Guatemala with his wife, who was Guatemalan by birth, and gave an important workshop on engraving. These works are still exhibited in Guatemala.

Bustos works with four main themes in his lithographs: scenes of rural Mexican life, the fight of different towns for liberation, the campaign in favor of disarmament and peace, and portraits of people. His hundreds of works have been exhibited in Argentina, Austria, Cuba, Ecuador, Guatemala, Mexico and the United States.

He has been a member of the World Peace Council, the Mexican Plastic Arts Hall and the Mexican Academy of Arts, among other organizations.

The gallery is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. For more information, call 361-593-3401. 

About the Presidential Performing and Visual Arts Series

The Presidential Performing and Visual Arts Series is a year-long program of art, music and theatre performances that bring culture and variety to Kingsville for faculty, staff, students and community audiences. The series strives to provide a new element of learning outside the classroom for students as they are entertained and educated through diverse mediums. Community members are welcome to continue life-long learning by attending these events.

-TAMUK-


This page was last updated on: September 28, 2012