Conaculta Inba

Rosario Cabrera and the passion for teaching

Eduardo Espinosa Campos
The first work by Rosario Cabrera (1901-1975) I remember seeing is the oil portrait of a little girl, reproduced in the catalogue of the exhibition organized as a tribute to the Open Air Painting Schools (EPAL), at the Museo del Palacio de Bellas Artes in Mexico City in 1981. The girl is seated, holding a piece of paper in her hand. The painting displays careful drawing and a balanced composition; the fragile body occupies the right side of the canvas, towards the lower left corner, leaving ample space on the opposing side to accentuate the private world and the candor of the subject. She has delicate features, her elongated and melancholy eyes look straight at the spectator. This painting remained etched in my memory, along with the artist’s name and her involvement with EPAL. I knew that Rosario Cabrera had been a teacher in those schools and nothing more. Continuar Leyendo →

Pola Weiss, Mexican precursor of video art

Adriana Zapett Tapia
She created an unmistakable autobiographic and intrspective style, but in constrast to this ceaseless exploration of her own inner life, in her video production she was also interested in issues relating to feminism, society, politics and ecology. Continuar Leyendo →

Perla Nanette Krauze Kleinbort

Graciela Schmilchuk
Perla Krauze (Mexico City, 1953) creates processes out of extended periods of documentation and research of specific materials and sites. She is a tireless traveller and a consumate walker: she locates places rich in those things that attract her, natural or artificial, in rural or urban landscapes; these can e stones, ceramics, traces, imprints, large or tint fragments, but always focused on the precarious. Continuar Leyendo →

Martha Pacheco, painting of death and madness

Edwina Moreno Guerra
Born in the Santa Tere quarter in Guadalajara, Jalisco, on Decemer 10, 1957. Her interest in drawing begn in her childhood. She began her studies in the Sunday Drawing Workshop at Guadalajara’s Galería Municipal. Searching for her own method, she took up photography to document her paintings. She was 14 when she started cutting images from magazines to draw animals, human figures and landscapes. At 19, having finished her training as a teacher in the Escuela Normal de Occidente, she enrolled in the Escuela de Artes Plásticas of the Universidad de Guadalajara (1976-1981). Continuar Leyendo →

Mariana Yampolsky

Patricia Priego
On September 6, 1925, in Chicago, Illinois, Hedwing and Oscar Yampolsky celebrated the birth of their daughter, whom they named Mariana. Oscar was a sculptor, painter and cabinetmaker.Being an onky child, living in the countryside, Mariana’s childhood was solitary; her favourite pastimes were reading and listening to her grandafather’s stories. She enrolled in the University of Chicago to study Socoial Science, but in 1945, after the death of her father, she decided to travel to Mexico and study painting and sculpture at the Escuela Nacional de Pintura Escultura y Grabado La Esmeralda, in Mexico City. She was the first woman printmaker and member of the Taller de Gráfica Popular, an organization that distinguished itself for its fight against fascism and its social protest prints. From the start, Mariana Yampolsky travelled around the country, falling in love with its landscapes, its people and its culture. In 1958 she became a Mexican citizen. She went on to become an expert in Mexican popular traditions, especially those associated with textile crafts. Continuar Leyendo →

Lilia Carrillo: abstract spirituality

Irma Fuentes Mata
Lilia Carrillo’s paintings can be placed within the lyrical abstractiontrend proposed and explained by Kandisnsky in his book On the spiritual in art (1911), a work which established a line
followed by many painters who offer up artistic forms consistent with their historical situation from a persoal perspective. Kandinsky recognizes the importance of striving to reflect only the essence and the mystical motivations emerging from the artist’s inner needs, something that characterizes Lilia Carrillo’s paintings. Continuar Leyendo →

Between popular music and painting: Isabel Villaseñor

Leticia Torres

A mutifaceted artist, Isabel Villaseñor was an engraver, painter, writer, popular music compiler and interpreter, composer of corridos, screenwriter, actress and muralist. She was born in Guadalajara, Jalisco, on May 18, 1909, the daughter of Adela Ruiz Valencia and Ramón Villaseñor Quevedo. In 1917, the family moved to Mexico City along with the maternal grandmother, Eduarda Valencia, who taught her granddaughter the love for Mexican popular music. In 1922 she took part in the literacy campaign organized by the Public Education Secretary José Vasconcelos. Influenced by her paternal grandmother, Isabel Quevedo, she began writing short stories and poems, something she would do for the rest of her life. With the poem Primavera she won in 1927 the La Flor contest, organized by the periodical El Universal Ilustrado; the following year, her short story Nuestra Señora de los Zacatecas won first prize at a contest organized by the government of Zacatecas. Continuar Leyendo →

Beatriz Ezban

Laura González Matute

Beatriz Ezban was born in Mexico City in 1955. She is part of the Judeo-Mexican community. She currently lives and works in Mexico City. From her beginnings as a painter she has been highly regarded in the visual arts world.
Continuar Leyendo →

An artistic relationship and a great friendship between a muralist and an adman: Jorge González Camarena and Federico Sánchez Fogarty

María Teresa Favela Fierro
This is the text of the lecture “Tolteca’s public image in the work of Jorge González Camarena”, which I gave on the occasion of the exhibition Federico Sánchez Fogarty, a visionary of his time at Museo Casa Estudio Diego Rivera y Frida Kahlo, (November 14, 2013, February 23, 2014). You can see the images I mention in the text at the gallery of the Fundación Cultural Jorge González Camarena A. C. website: Galería de la Fundación Cultural Jorge González Camarena. Continuar Leyendo →

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We shall become Dogs

Yuri Herrera
A text on La Pasión según Arte Huerco, an exhibition initially shown in Pachuca, Hidalgo, by Fundación Arturo Herrera Cabañas, in April, 2014. It was later exhibited between April and May, 2015, at the Copilco subway station, in Mexico City.  Continuar Leyendo →

Inventing the Future. Political Construction and Cultural Action. Acts of the V Symposium on Research and Documentation

Guadalupe Tolosa
The future can be invented, but maybe it emerges on the strength of a present in which the multiplicity of events –increasingly dominated by violence, which is present in virtually all aspects of life- turn the wager on aesthetic expressions into an opportunity to enrich the diverse and vast field in which we work, where the political, the ideological and the social are upturned. Continuar Leyendo →

Approaches to Patricia Henríquez

Alfredo Gurza
The incursion of Patricia Henríquez (Mexico City, 1967) in recent years in animation and video art is the logical consequence of her efforts to extend her semiotic domain. One is amazed by the terseness of her transit into this new medium, the naturalness with which she occupies it, as if these were her more propitious surroundings. Continuar Leyendo →

Pola Weiss and The Crystal Door

Alberto Roblest
My first encounter with Pola was as haphazard as my stay at UNAM’s Facultad de Ciencias Políticas y Sociales. Both chance events left their imprint on me forever. It was 1983, I was doing the fourth semester. It was near the end of term. Continuar Leyendo →

José Luis Brea’s “Looking ahead”

Loreto Alonso Atienza
On January 15-17, the “Three Eras of the Image” conference took place at Biblioteca Vasconcelos, in Mexico City. Organized by Centro de la Imagen and 17 Instituto de Estudios Críticos, it gathered major figures in the field of visual studies, such as Keith Moxey, William J. T Mitchell and Mieke Bal. The title of the conference was taken from the last book of the late Spanish thinker José Luis Brea. Continuar Leyendo →


Current Art Documentary Collection

Edwina Moreno Guerra
The Current Art Documentary Collection began with the rescue of so-called “Arte Joven” (“Young Art”), originating in the late 1950’s. From then on, the cultivation of new languages always refers to new art, the one that broke off with tradition and was acknowledged as avant-garde. Continuar Leyendo →

The José María Velasco Gallery. A Public Space for Cultural Promotion in Tepito

Carlos Guevara Meza
This text was read at the presentation of the book La Galería José María Velasco. Espacio público de promoción cultural en Tepito, by Guillermina Guadarrama, México, Consejo Nacional para la Cultura y las Artes, Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes, Galería José María Velasco, 2013. Galería Velasco. Continuar Leyendo →


Vianney Cortés. Language as the Detonator of Form


The work of Vianney Cortés (Mexico City, 1985), who graduated from Escuela Nacional de Pintura, Escultura y Grabado La Esmeralda, fluctuates between sculpture and installation. Light and movement play a key role in her pieces, generating atmospheric and enveloping effects. Continuar Leyendo →


Malraux Encounter on Art and Education

Loreto Alonso Atienza


The Malraux Encounter on Art and Education took place on May 6-8, 2014. It was coordinated by Patrick Talbot, honorary director of Art Postgraduate Schools of Bourges and Nancy, and of the National Higher School of Photography of France; and by Humberto Chávez Mayol, researcher at Cenidiap (National Center for Research, Documentation and Information on Visual Arts). Continuar Leyendo →


On History and Relevancy: Luis Arenal

María Elisa Morales Maya


The exhibition Luis Arenal Bastar: un realismo militante (A Militant Realism) signifies in many senses, not just because of its unpublished status, given its documentary character, but because of the diversity of processes that the materialization of an exhibition such as this may imply. Continuar Leyendo →


Francisco Goitia Collection

María Jeannette Méndez Ramón


Since 1987, the Francisco Goitia Collection became part of the artistic documentary heritage of the National Center for Research, Documentation and Information on Visual Arts (Cenidiap). It was donated by anthropologist Farías Galindo, the last executor and biographer of the artist. Continuar Leyendo →

Economics and Culture

Carlos Guevara Meza


Perhaps I should begin by pointing out the relevance of presenting a book entitled Economics and Culture at an arts research center. When “traditional” cultural producers, such as artists, intellectuals and academics, hear those two words together, we start shaking, thinking (not without reason) that the idea is to throw us into a market previously constructed by other agents, after their own fashion, in which they already exercise a dominion, and who don’t think twice about “liquidating” (in the Mafia sense of the word) any real or potential competition.

Continuar Leyendo →

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Decentralizing Historical Photographic Collections

Eleazar López Zamora


[Originally published in Alberto Tovalín (ed.), Crónicas Fotográficas. I Foro México Estados Unidos,México, Instituto Veracruzano de Cultura, Universidad Veracruzana, Fondo Nacional para la Cultura y las Artes, 1996.] Continuar Leyendo →

Forced Disappearances

Alberto Híjar Serrano


On the first Saturday of every month, at different public places, HIJOS México and ¡Eureka! Install an exhibition of the disappeared, the victims of political repression. On Saturday, February 1st, they installed photographs of the disappeared around a fountain in Parque de los Venados, where they informed the festive and sportive citizens gathered there of the purpose of their organization. Continuar Leyendo →


The Cosmos Descends on Sculpture: Kiyoshi Takahashi, Sukemitzu Kaminaga, Kiyoto Ota and Hiroyuki Okumura

María Teresa Favela Fierro


Several Japanese artists have arrived in Mexico at different times; some settled definitely, others temporarily. They all have brought with them a valuable artistic legacy. Tamiji Kitagawa, for instance, lived here in the 1920´s and 30´s, and taught at the Open Air Painting Schools. Continuar Leyendo →


Connections… Cenidiap’s Archives and Collections


On August 19-31, 2014, the Gallery of the National School of Painting, Sculpture and Engraving “La Esmeralda” hosted the exhibition Connections… Cenidiap’s Archives and Collections. Continuar Leyendo →

César Moro: Poetry between the Old and New Worlds

Lourdes Andrade


César Moro, a poet of astonishing fertility in terms of the quantity and the quality of his images, is a figure between two worlds, drawn and torn by the absolute demands of poetry and the circumstances in which he developed his work and his life, and in which he gave sense to both. Continuar Leyendo →


Barbizon or Santa Anita. The first Open Air Painting School, 1913

Laura González Matute


[Originally published in Escuelas de Pintura al Aire Libre y Centros Populares de Pintura, Mexico, Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes, Centro Nacional de Investigación, Documentación e Información de Artes Plásticas, 1987.] Continuar Leyendo →

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Leopoldo Méndez Documentary Collection

Jacqueline Romero Yescas


The Leopoldo Méndez Documentary Collection is a valuable documentary archive for research into the visual arts in 20th century Mexico. Its information covers several issues regarding the life and thought, as well as the development of the work of this engraver. This collection is part of the cultural, historical and artistic heritage safeguarded by the National Institute of Fine Arts and Literature (INBAL). Continuar Leyendo →