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Mexican Muralists: Orozco, Rivera, Siqueiros Paperback – March 1, 1998


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Mexican Muralists: Orozco, Rivera, Siqueiros + My Art, My Life: An Autobiography + Mexican Muralism: A Critical History
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Chronicle Books (March 1, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0811819280
  • ISBN-13: 978-0811819282
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 0.8 x 11.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #136,601 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

In Mexico in the early 1920s, a growing, collective social consciousness gave rise to a revolutionary furor focused on liberating the country's workers from harsh conditions and poverty. In 1921, Mexican artists Diego Rivera, José Clemente Orozco, and David Alfaro Siqueiros were all commissioned by the government to create educational paintings on the walls of public buildings. After that initial experience, they devoted themselves almost exclusively to painting these large-scale murals--forming the foundation of a movement that would last 50 years. The muralists' work took up the themes of society and revolution. Often the paintings depicted historical vignettes like the story of Cuernavaca and Morelos crossing the barranca, or Mexico's ancient Indians. They satirized contemporary society, created ideal visions of peaceful families, and built up dark, imposing industrial cityscapes then leveled them by depicting the debauchery and death of the capitalist industrialists.

The paintings themselves reflect diverse artistic influences--surrealism, cubism, and illustration, most notable among them. Their bold colors and strong imagery practically bound out of the 150 color plates in this book. Mexican muralist and scholar Desmond Rochfort lucidly traces the development of the movement to place the work in context and provides a solid history of each of the artists' social and artistic influences. This is an excellent overview of work that should appeal both to fans of the individual artists and Mexican art in general. --Jordana Moskowitz

Review

Opening with a poignant gallery of photographic portraits of the Mexican people dating from Revolutionary times, Mexican Muralists offers a sweeping visual account of these towering works and their creation, replete with copious photographic details and an admirable pictorial treatment that positions the murals firmly in their architectural context. A key element in the drama of a successful public work lies in how it is integrated with its physical environment, and the books shows plentiful examples of the use that the muralists made of theirs settings, from deconsecrated churches (which provided their own ironic points of reference) to unusual architectural details and, occasionally, unconventional media (Rivera's remarkable, sprawling mosaics, for example). -- Graphis

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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The book is beautifully produced - high quality paper, a thick paperback cover, and a strong binding.
L. Schattman
This book provides the reader with an understanding of the social context in which Rivera, Orozco, and Siqueiros' murals were painted.
Xcy
I am gald I was able to get this book and it fit with my budget perfectly and I am glad that I got it.
Charisse A. Scott

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Enrique Torres VINE VOICE on March 8, 2005
Format: Paperback
Read the editorial reviews first and if you are still not convinced that this book does a good job covering the Big Three than get individual books on each. The text is outstanding and puts the works of art into a political context of the time period. The author is analytical, insightful and definitely well versed in the subject matter.There is an exhaustive bibliography, extensive endnotes on each chapter and spectacular reproductions on thick quality paper stock. There are historical photographs of public works in progress and a varity of camera angles of individual murals to show the enormity of the works. I have seen many of these murals on location and this book does an excellent job of portraying them as they are. When you see a Rivera fresco on a wall at the National Palace live or in this case from a pulled out camera angle and see the railing leading to the next floor being dwarfed by the images it is truly impressive. Looking at the details within the murals is the ultimate visual experience where you can get lost in the picture and the meaning. The closeups and details of individual segments are superior. This is art for the peoples public viewing brought directly to you from Mexico to hold in your hands and examine at your leisure. There are several good books out there on Mexican Murals but this one for the money is outstanding. The three artists each had a distictive style but each brought a unifying nationalistic approach to the walls of public buildings. Is one artist better than the other? You be the judge, everyone has their own favorite. If you are unfamiliar with the works of the Big Three than check it out, you are in for a treat.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By "chiflas562" on December 27, 2002
Format: Paperback
This is definitely one of the best books out there for anyone interested in Mexican art. Few books can inspire as much as this one, especially for people from Zapotlanejo, Jalisco. It's loaded with many pictures and chronicles the lives of these three muralistas and has in depth coverage of specific murals, i especially enjoyed the coverage on "History of Mexico" mural by Diego Rivera. This book is definitely worth the price and a great addition to any collection. Orale!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By S. W. Serfa on October 2, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A really remarkable book! The study of the three major Mexican muralists: Rivera, Orozco, Siqueiros presents information concerning the political and esthetic
formation of the three; differences and political similarities. The reproduction of the murals with accompanying explanations are of the highest and most
insightful quality. I seldom buy books and had acquired this one through the local library, however, I realized, immediately, that the quality of prose and

the beauty of the reproduced murals really inspired me to purchase this work.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By L. Schattman on September 28, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This beautiful and well-researched book examines the Mexican mural movement through lives and work of three important artists: Jose Clemente Orozco, Diego Rivera and David Alfaro Siqueiros. Beginning in the late 19th century, author Desmond Rochfort describes the origins of the political and cultural revolution that gave rise to the mural movement. Rochfort traces the life and artistic development of the three artists, providing the historical and social context needed to understand their works.

The text is very well written - highly informative but never dry. End notes and a substantial bibliography provide plenty of scope for further research. It is generously illustrated throughout, with both modern full-color photographs and period black-and-white ones, all of a very high quality. There are many full-page images and double-page spreads.

The book is beautifully produced - high quality paper, a thick paperback cover, and a strong binding. Recommended for any library serving patrons who study - or simply love - art or history.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Xcy on June 16, 2009
Format: Paperback
This book provides the reader with an understanding of the social context in which Rivera, Orozco, and Siqueiros' murals were painted. There are excellent color photos throughout the book (and a few historical b/w photos as well). I would highly recommend this book to anyone who is interested in why and how the murals came to be painted. This book is more than art history, it is also a history of Mexico.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Katherine Forrest on February 24, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
this is packed with full color images of the work of three of the greatest artists that ever lived. I am a huge fan and this book is a favorite to pick up and look at all the time. Hoping to imbue myself with the Siqueiros spirit of painting by absorbing myself in his work. This is an excellent place to start doing that.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By R. P. on April 30, 2008
Format: Paperback
After having this on my wish list for a couple of years, and I finally purchased it after another trip to the Detroit Institute of Arts. If you're interested in Diego and his contemporaries, this book is a must-have!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By diane k. gordon on July 10, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Beautiful & excellently written. I gave as a present.
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