Mexico underwent a radical cultural transformation at the end of its Revolution in 1920. A new relationship between art and the public was established, giving rise to art that spoke directly to the people about social justice and national life. The model galvanized artists in the United States who were seeking to break free of European aesthetic domination to create publicly significant and accessible native art. Numerous American artists traveled to Mexico, and the leading Mexican muralists—José Clemente Orozco, Diego Rivera, and David Alfaro Siqueiros—spent extended periods of time in the United States, executing murals, paintings, and prints; exhibiting their work; and interacting with local artists. With approximately 200 works by sixty Mexican and American artists, Vida Americana will demonstrate the impact Mexican artists had on their counterparts in the United States during this period and the ways in which their example inspired American artists both to create epic narratives about American history and everyday life, and to use their art to protest economic, social, and racial injustices.
This exhibition is organized by Barbara Haskell, curator, with Marcela Guerrero, assistant curator; Sarah Humphreville, senior curatorial assistant; and Alana Hernandez, former curatorial project assistant.
The lead sponsor for Vida Americana: Mexican Muralists Remake American Art, 1925–1945 is the Jerome L. Greene Foundation
Major support is provided by the Barbara Haskell American Fellows Legacy Fund, the Henry Luce Foundation, the Terra Foundation for American Art, and the Whitney’s National Committee.
Generous support is provided by The Mr. and Mrs. Raymond J. Horowitz Foundation for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, and Ted and Mary Jo Shen.
Significant support is provided by the Alturas Foundation, Paul Arnhold, Wes Gordon and the Arnhold Foundation, the Arthur F. and Alice E. Adams Charitable Foundation, Blair and Cheryl Effron, Garrett Moran and Mary Penniman Moran, and Laurie M. Tisch.
Additional support is provided by Tony Bechara; Jeanne Donovan Fisher; the Garcia Family Foundation; the Judy and Stanley Katz Family Foundation; and the Robert Lehman Foundation, Inc.
Curatorial research and travel were funded by the Steven & Alexandra Cohen Foundation.