Representing Workers, the Workers Represented: Artists, Unions and Print Production in the Mexican Revolution
Latin American Studies
Using a post-revisionist framework, this article considers the engagement of unions and leftist artists in the two decades after the Mexican Revolution by exploring the organizational attempts of both in relation to artistic representations of the working class. The divergent visions of radical and reformist workers of the 1920s are explored respectively by contrasting the class-based and internationalist wood block prints of David Alfaro Siqueiros and Xavier Guerrero in the proto-communist journal El Machete with the nationalist, art nouveau images in the Revista CROM, published by the dominant, officialist labour confederation. These distinct traditions converged in the 1930s, under the Communist Party concept of the ‘Popular Front’ that helped unify artists and workers behind the progressive nationalist project of President Lázaro Cardenas, a pattern exemplified by the Mexican Electricians Union (Sindicato Mexicano de Electricistas, SME), the Confederation of Mexican Workers (Confederación de Trabajadores de México, CTM) and the images of workers in the Revista Lux and by artists such as Santos Balmori of the League of Revolutionary Artists and Writers (Liga de Escritores y Artistas Revolucionarios, LEAR).
Lear, J. "Representing Workers, the Workers Represented: Artists, Unions and Print Production in the Mexican Revolution." Third Text. 28.3 (2014): 235-255. Print.