David Alfaro Siqueiros. Ethnography. 1939

David Alfaro Siqueiros Ethnography 1939

  • MoMA, Floor 5, 516

In Etnografía (Ethnography), a figure bursts forward from a stormy background, clothed in a white tunic characteristic of the Totonac people of Papantla, Veracruz. The mask that covers the figure’s face is modeled after an ancient Olmec carved wooden mask found in a cave in Iguala, Guerrero. Painted when Siqueiros was caught up in a public feud with fellow artist Diego Rivera, Etnografía was intended to criticize the tendency of some Mexican artists and intellectuals to idealize Mexico’s precolonial past while neglecting the struggles of living Indigenous populations.

Gallery label from 2022
Medium
Enamel on board
Dimensions
48 1/8 x 32 3/8" (122.2 x 82.2 cm)
Credit
Gift of Abby Aldrich Rockefeller
Object number
1657.1940
Copyright
© 2023 Siqueiros David Alfaro / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / SOMAAP, Mexico
Department
Painting and Sculpture

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