Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Interpreting Manuel Felguerez

They Ask for Fish by Manuel Felguérez
Continuing to share the work of Las puntadas del alma/Stitches of the Soul and the Mexican artists whose work they choose to interpret. Christina choose Manuel Felguérez's painting They Ask for Fish (created in 1966) from the permanent collection in National Museum of Mexican Art in Chicago.

Felguérez was born in 1928 in Valparaíso, Zacatecas in Mexico. He's still alive, living in Mexico and working. I encourage you to Google images of his work where you will find both images of his paintings and sculpture. I discovered that I really liked his abstract expressionist paintings. He is an avid collector of all sorts of objects (would love to know exactly what kind of objects), taxidermist, anthropologist, teacher, investigator and master artist. He traveled to Europe in the late 1940s which is where he had his first meaningful encounter with art and attempted to study art in Mexico. He was one of the first artists to criticize the Mexican school of painting.  He adopted the ideas of writer, poet, and diplomat  Octavio Paz (1914-1998), who thought that art had to be an incessant movement of continuity and breaks from tradition. In both sculpture and painting, Felguérez constantly appropriated the artistic movements of his time (Cubism and Abstract Expressionism).
Christina Carlos
He was a professor at Cornell University. professor of Design and Investigacion Visual at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México and was awarded a awarded the Guggenheim Fellowship while he worked as an investigator at Harvard University.  It always interests me to discover how many Mexican artists have a connection to the muralism movement so it was interesting to find out that in the early 1960s, Felguérez was commissioned to make more than 30 murals for public and private institutions. According to Octavio Paz, "Manuel Felguérez created a new muralism movement where painting is joined with sculpture." He charged little for the murals in an effort to be recognized nationally and internationally as an artist. It worked. He closed his mural workshop and opened a studio to focus on painting.  Personally, I think he would be a fascinating man to meet.
I  did not take long for Christina to select Felguérez's painting and I was proud of her for selecting something abstract. I'm especially appreciative that she did because I learned so much personally.

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