Carlos Mérida Mayor of Almolonga 1916-19

  • Not on view

After returning to his native Guatemala from Paris in 1914, Mérida, who was of Maya K’iche’ and Spanish descent, began the experiments that would define his lifelong concern with creating “an American art.” Alcalde de Almolonga (Mayor of Almolonga), which represents a contemporary Maya K’iche’ person in a position of power, is an iconic early example of Mérida’s innovative and emphatically local approach to modern painting. His work inspired other artists and intellectuals in Latin America—especially in Mexico, where he moved in 1920—to focus on Indigenous traditions and concerns.

Gallery label from 2022
Oil on canvas
70 1/2 × 35" (179 × 88.9 cm)
Bequest of Janice H. Levin (by exchange) and gift of Ramiro Ortíz Mayorga in honor of Patricia Gurdián de Ortiz through the Latin American and Caribbean Fund
Object number
Painting and Sculpture

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