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José Guadalupe Posada: Legendary Printmaker of Mexico

Coming to Albuquerque Museum December 2020. This exhibition recognizes Posada’s cultural contributions, which reflect the spirit of Mexican identity in his time and ours and imparts a universal perspective extending well beyond the borders of his native Mexico

José Guadalupe Posada,  Calavera Bolshevik, c. 1910

Calavera Bolshevik, c. 1910

On View
December 19, 2020–March 14, 2021

Posada, Calavera Catrina

José Guadalupe Posada, Calavera Catrina

 

José Guadalupe Posada and son

José Guadalupe Posada and son

 

The exhibition was organized by the Catalina Island Museum in association with the Posada Art Foundation. Museum tour organized by Landau Traveling Exhibitions, Los Angeles, CA.

 

Details subject to change.

 

One of Mexico’s most celebrated artists was a printmaker, a common man who died a pauper, his body interred in an unmarked grave. Yet, José Guadalupe Posada reached his countrymen through perhaps more than 20,000 images documenting nearly every aspect of life. As Mexico modernized in the late 19th century, its capital bustled with published materials to satisfy the growing metropolis and its budding middle class, intelligentsias, and thousands of new residents relocating from the countryside. Employed by the visionary publisher Antonio Vanegas Arroyo, Posada created expressive images reflecting and informing the transitioning culture of Mexico City’s residents, many of whom were illiterate. Posada’s satirical skeletons, or calaveras, have become the most iconic and celebrated of his work.

Posada’s art lampooned politicians, recorded vivid images of the Mexican Revolution, inspired Mexico's famed Taller Grafica Popular to use art for social causes, helped the Cuban Revolution succeed, adorned adorned concert tickets for the Grateful Dead and today leaps to life annually as the skeletal images seen during Day of the Dead, so popular now there is even a Disney and Pixar film, Coco, that celebrates the holiday. Yet Posada’s influence is rarely associated with his name, his true story virtually unknown.

Decades after his death, art historians and artists continue to recognize Posada’s cultural contributions, reflecting not only the spirit of Mexican identity in his time and ours but imparting a universal perspective extending well beyond the borders of his native Mexico.