Roberto Montenegro. Maya Women. 1926

Roberto Montenegro Maya Women 1926

  • MoMA, Floor 5, 516

Like his friend and fellow artist Diego Rivera, Montenegro spent most of the Mexican Revolutionary period studying abroad in Europe. He was a founder of the Mexican Mural Renaissance and, in 1921, was one of four artists commissioned to create the first government-sponsored murals in Mexico City. He is best known for his fusion of a Surrealist sensibility with a deliberately naive folk-art style. In 1934 Montenegro became the first director of Mexico's Museo de Arte Popular (Museum of popular art), and he spent his life championing Mexican folk art. This painting was included in MoMA's vast 1940 exhibition Twenty Centuries of Mexican Art, which included everything from ancient art to the mural Dive Bomber and Tank, which Orozco painted at the Museum in front of the public during the show. Montenegro curated the popular-arts section of the exhibition.

Gallery label from 2009.
Oil on canvas
31 1/2 x 27 1/2" (80 x 69.8 cm)
Gift of Nelson A. Rockefeller
Object number
Painting and Sculpture

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