MoMA Talks: From Mexico to Manhattan: The Revolutionary Life and Times of Diego Rivera
Historian Alan Knight discusses Diego Rivera within his historical context, both in Mexico and as an international figure. Special attention will be paid to examining how the constructive, post-1920 phase of the Mexican Revolution, with its emphasis on state-building and social reform, created opportunities for Rivera and his fellow muralists, especially as the infant revolutionary regime sought political legitimacy by means of public didactic art. This discussion charts the fruitful—though frequently contentious—relationship that ensued, as Rivera tackled the major themes of the revolutionary project: land and labor reform, anticlericalism, nationalism, and indigenismo (the official valorization of Mexico's Indian history and culture). In addition, Knight considers Rivera's key role in the evolving relationship between revolutionary Mexico and the United States.
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