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Los Muralistas (The Mexican Muralists): A Multimedia Presentation by Gregorio Luke

Latin Multimedia


PLEASE NOTE: Presentation is in Spanish. English translation will be available.


The three greatest Diego Rivera, Clemente Orozco & David Alfaro Siqueiros

Anthology, 1337 India Street, San Diego, CA 92101. Tel: 619-595-0300
Tuesday July the 12th, 6:30 doors open, 8 p.m. show

Gregorio Luke presents the life and Works of Rivera, Orozco & Siqueiros.

The Mexican artist, Gregorio Luke comes back to San Diego to show a multimedia presentation regarding Los Muralistas, “The Mexican muralists” on Tuesday July the 12th, at 8 pm. The show will be presented in Spanish with an English simultaneous translation at Anthology, 1337 India Street, San Diego, CA 92101. Luke’s presentation will offer a kaleidoscope view of the life and paintings of Diego Rivera, José Clemente Orozco and David Alfaro Siqueiros, considered the three greatest muralist of the world.

Gregorio Luke, who had a successful show regarding Frida Kahlo in the same venue on May 31st, has dedicated 20 years of his life to promote the Mexican art around the world. Just few months ago the Arts Council of the city of Long Beach named him the artist of the year.

He has presented shows regarding the Mexican culture in some of the best Museums and Institutions in the United States such as the Smithsonian, the Library of Congress, Harvard University, Georgetown and MIT, among others. In Mexico, he has offered conferences at the UNAM, and in various public places in his effort to reach a wider audiences. World wide shows has been presented in China, Australia and in Europe.

Gregorio Luke has stated, “The dream of the muralists was to create art for the people, as they believed that art should be accessible to everyone, not just to privileged groups.” Using digital technology Gregorio Luke has been able to show the art of Rivera, Siqueiros and Orozco in different places, although his main achievement has been to present his shows not only at the Universities and well known museums, but in rural areas as he did last year in some neighborhoods in Baja California as part of a program called “Culture is everywhere.” After his last visit to San Diego, Gregorio Luke stated, “I get very emotional to offer this presentation in San Diego not just because I have lots of friends here, but to be at ANTHOLOGY, a wonderful venue where the better known jazz artists of the world, such as Natalie Cole, Count Basie Orchestra and Poncho Sanchez have also offered their talent.”

Diego Rivera

(December 8, 1886 – November 24, 1957) was a prominent Mexican painter born in Guanajuato, Guanajuato, an active communist, and husband of Frida Kahlo (1929–1939 and 1940–1954). His large wall works in fresco helped establish the Mexican Mural Renaissance. Between 1922 and 1953, Rivera painted murals among others in Mexico City, Chapingo, Cuernavaca, San Francisco, Detroit, and New York City. In 1931, a retrospective exhibition of his works was held at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. Between 1932 and 1933, he completed a famous series of twenty-seven fresco panels entitled Detroit Industry on the walls of an inner court at the Detroit Institute of Arts. During the McCarthyism of the 1950s, a large sign was placed in the courtyard defending the artistic merit of the murals while attacking his politics as “detestable.”

His mural Man at the Crossroads, begun in 1933 for the Rockefeller Center in New York City, was removed after a furor erupted in the press over a portrait of Vladimir Lenin it contained. The American poet Archibald MacLeish wrote six “irony-laden” poems about the mural. The New Yorker magazine published E. B. White’s poem “I paint what I see: A ballad of artistic integrity.” As a result of the negative publicity, a further commission was canceled to paint a mural for an exhibition at the Chicago World’s Fair. Rivera issued a statement that with the money left over from the commission of the mural at Rockefeller Center (he was paid in full though the mural was supposedly destroyed. Rumors have floated that the mural was actually covered over rather than brought down and destroyed), he would repaint the same mural over and over wherever he was asked until the money ran out.

In December 1933, Rivera returned to Mexico, and he repainted Man at the Crossroads in 1934 in the Palacio de Bellas Artes in Mexico City. This surviving version was called Man, Controller of the Universe. On June 5, 1940, invited again by Pflueger, Rivera returned for the last time to the United States to paint a ten-panel mural for the Golden Gate International Exposition in San Francisco. Pan American Unity was completed November 29, 1940.

José Clemente Orozco

(November 23, 1883 – September 7, 1949) was a Mexican social realist painter, who specialized in bold murals that established the Mexican Mural Renaissance together with murals by Diego Rivera, David Alfaro Siqueiros, and others. Orozco was the most complex of the Mexican muralists, fond of the theme of human suffering, but less realistic and more fascinated by machines than Rivera. Mostly influenced by Symbolism, he was also a genre painter and lithographer. Between 1922 and 1948, Orozco painted murals in Mexico City, Orizaba, Claremont, California, New York City, Hanover, New Hampshire, Guadalajara, Jalisco, and Jiquilpan, Michoacán. His drawings and paintings are exhibited by the Carrillo Gil Museum in Mexico City, and the Orozco Workshop-Museum in Guadalajara. Orozco was known for being a politically committed artist. He promoted the political causes of peasants and workers.

Between 1927–1934 Orozco lived in the USA. In 1930, he painted murals at the New School for Social Research, New York City, now known as the New School University. One of his most famous murals is The Epic of American Civilization at Dartmouth College, New Hampshire, USA. It was painted between 1932 and 1934 and covers almost 300 m² (3200 square feet) in 24 panels. Its parts include: “Migrations,” “Human Sacrifices,” “The Appearance of Quetzalcoatl,” “Corn Culture,” “Anglo-America,” “Hispano-America,” “Science” and “Modern Migration of the Spirit” (another version of “Christ Destroys His Cross”).After returning to Mexico in 1935, Orozco painted in Guadalajara, Jalisco, the mural “The People and Its Leaders” in the Government Palace, and the frescos for the Hospicio Cabañas, which are considered his masterpiece

David Alfaro Siqueiros

(December 29, 1896 in Camargo, Chihuahua, Mexico – January 6, 1974 in Cuernavaca, Morelos, Mexico) was a social realist painter, known for his large murals in fresco that helped establish the Mexican Mural Renaissance, together with works by Diego Rivera and José Clemente Orozco, and also a Stalinist who participated in an unsuccessful attempt to assassinate Leon Trotsky in May 1940.

In the early 1930s, including his time spent in the Mexican Lecumberri Prison, Siqueiros produced a series of politically-themed lithographs, many of which were exhibited in the United States. His lithograph Head was shown at the 1930 exhibition “Mexican Artists and Artists of the Mexican School” at The Delphic Studios in New York City. In 1932, he led an exhibition and conference entitled “Rectifications on Mexican Muralism” at the gallery of the Spanish Casino in Taxco, Mexico.

Shortly after, he traveled to New York, where he participated in the Weyhe Gallery’s “Mexican Graphic Art” exhibition. With a team of students, he also completed a mural, known sometimes as Tropical America, in 1932 at the Italian Hall at Olvera Street in Los Angeles. Painting fresco on an outside wall – visible to passersby as well as intentional viewers – forced Siqueiros to reconsider his methodology as a muralist. He wanted the image – an image of an Indian peon being crucified by American oppression – to be accessible from multiple angles. Instead of just constructing “an enlarged easel painting,” He realized that the mural “must conform to the normal transit of a spectator.” Eventually, Siqueiros would develop a mural technique that involved tracing figures onto a wall with an electric projector, photographing early wall sketches to improve perspective, and new paints, spray guns, and other tools to accommodate the surface of modern buildings and the outdoor conditions. He was unceremoniously deported from the United States for political activity the same year.

About Gregorio Luke

Gregorio Luke is an expert on Mexican and Latin American culture. Mr. Luke has given multimedia presentations on the art and culture of Mexico for more than twenty years. He has performed at the Florence Biennale, The Smithsonian Institution, The Library of Congress and museums such as the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the Detroit Institute of Art, among many others. Mr. Luke has held distinguished positions such as Director of the Museum of Latin American Art in Long Beach, California, First Secretary of the Mexican Embassy in Washington and Cultural attaché for Mexico in Los Angeles. He is the recipient of the 2008 Local Heroes Award by KCET.

TUE 7/12, 8:00pm click to purchase tickets

click to purchase tickets

“Gregorio Luke gives cultural lectures with the fervor and reverence of a missionary hungry for converts. Luke speaks as if he’s seen a vision. His listeners can’t help but see it too.”” – Agustin Gurza Los Angeles Times

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