초록 close

Avant-garde art in Mexico blossomed in the decade immediately following the Mexican Revolution (1910-1920), an armed struggle for political reform and a more equitable distribution of resources. The Constitution of 1917 offered free education to all Mexican citizens and land redistribution, among other benefits that promised to create a new society and level economic differences. Artists in post-revolutionary Mexico faced a quandary: on the one hand, to renovate artistic forms and embrace modernity,and, on the other, to employ art for socially conscious ends that would further the revolutionary project. Over the course of the 1920s, they experimented with a variety of approaches and visual languages in an attempt to find a model of modernism that would be the most relevant to Mexico. Often these efforts led to spirited debates but also to unresolvable tensions and bitter rivalries. This article examines different types of rivalries that arose in the arts of the postrevolutionary period as a means of assessing what was at stake in articulating a modernist project in Mexico. It draws on examples from literature and art, especially around the avant-garde movement Estridentismo (stridentism)—which encompassed artists and intellectuals, among them mural painters—and its offshoot ¡30-30!. Estridentismo was launched in 1921 by the poet Manuel Maples Arce through the manifesto Actual No. 1 , a rallying cry for artistic renovation. Originally inspired by the avant-garde iconoclasm of Italian Futurism and other early 20th century European movements, over the course of the 1920s, Estridentismo came to be emblematic of the multiple and contested ways of defining Mexican modernism. ¡30-30!, a short-lived movement which emerged in 1928, similarly positioned itself within an antagonistic framework, and its belligerent stance ultimately led to its censorship. Probing the rivalries and social dynamics incited by these movements sheds light on important critical debates that define Mexico’s particular brand of modernism. The article begins by examining Actual No. 1 in relation to a contemporary text by the painter David Alfaro Siqueiros as a means of setting the stage for the major issues 174that would emerge during the mural movement, typically recognized to be Mexico’s most significant contribution to twentieth century art. It then describes the mechanisms by which Maples Arce’s early collaborators who were part of the first generation of Mexican muralism began carving out distinct positions in critical dialogue with his,especially the painters Fermín Revueltas, Jean Charlot, and Fernando Leal. Turning to ¡30-30!, I address its enmity with the literary group Contemporáneos (also bitter enemies of the Estridentistas) to reveal the most extreme ideological differences. This journey through the artistic debates of post-revolutionary Mexico reveals the productive and destructive potential of rivalry for the avant-garde.