Smithsonian, September 1993. Trade Paperback. Item #63503
ISBN: 1560982950

Richly illustrated with works of both high culture and commercial kitsch - many of them never before reproduced - South of the Border revisits an era when Mexico captured the North American imagination. Between the final years of the Mexican Revolution of 1910-17 and the immediate aftermath of World War II, dozens of U.S. painters and photographers flocked to Mexico, among them Edward Weston, Paul Strand, Marsden Hartley, Helen Levitt, Josef Albers, and Robert Motherwell. South of the Border reconsiders the work of these and other American artists, along with representative works of their Mexican contemporaries and examples of the vast quantities of commercial art - illustrated books and magazines, travel posters and postcards - and Mexican folk and tourist art that contributed to Americans' image of their neighbor to the south. Artists visiting or living in Mexico, Oles writes, were enthralled with the country's climate, pre-Columbian heritage, and folk culture. Especially during the Great Depression, not only artists but the general American public as well saw in Mexico an appealing alternative to the pressures of industrial society. Some artists, including Winold Reiss, Thomas Handforth, and Doris Rosenthal, won acclaim for their depictions of a seemingly timeless rural life in Mexican villages. Others, among them Pablo O'Higgins, Elizabeth Catlett, and Robert Mallary, fired their work with politics, bringing the movement for social reform directly to the people through large murals and popular graphics. In a bilingual text - English and Spanish - that accompanies more than 180 illustrations, Oles describes these and many other U.S. artists drawn to Mexico, placing their work in itsoriginal political and cultural context. An accompanying essay by Karen Cordero Reiman reexamines the history of Mexican art from 1910 through 1950, providing a fresh interpretation of a period long obscured by nationalist discourse and the domination of muralism. Published in co

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