Siqueiros Collection: Artwork
In 1969, Siqueiros opened in back then home in Tres Picos, Colonia Bosque de Chapultepec, the Sala de Arte Público Siqueiros—as an extension of the Escuela Taller Siqueiros, A. C. Three years later, the artist began to transform this place to create the Museo de la Composición Mural, a space that was intended to show his artistic career and his great achievements in pictorial language. In some of the rooms of this building, the artist reproduced spatial composition strokes of his murals —a body of work considered as the muralist´s the last stage of production.
In the central room of the south wing of the building, Siqueiros replicated the work done in Argentina in 1933, Ejercicio plástico (1933). With a didactic approach, he presented the first visual studies on “poliangularidad” (figures with more than eight sides). In the same room, there are also examples of the same subject based on his murals Cuauhtémoc contra el mito (1944), Muerte al invasor (1941-1942) and Alegría de la igualdad y confraternidad de las razas blanca y negra en Cuba (1943).
In what used to be the living room, the artist developed works in acrylic on wood, with brushstrokes for the spatial composition of the mural La marcha de la humanidad (1971-1973). After three photographs of the mural mentioned above, mounted on the north wall, the work has a series of brushstrokes with which he began the transformation of the visual space, i.e. as a matrix. The three images are the starting point of a series of lines and vanishing points in relation to the Polyforum´s architecture in one single room, in which the viewer is immersed to a wall that apparently has no edges.
In three different works, Siqueiros intervened the Sala Siqueiros´ floor: Ejercicio Plástico, (1933) at a farm in Granados, Argentina and two large murals that were created by Siqueiros from 1972 to 1973, in what used to be the patio: Maternidad y Proyecto mural para una escuela del Estado de México.
These latest works are unfinished projects that demonstrate the personality of the artist, who always sought experimentation with new materials, tools and techniques.
The works were made in acrylic on celotex. The murals are transportable. Here again is evident, through lines and concentric circles, that the artist giving the viewer the perspective of a continuous unit.
From an early age, David Alfaro Siqueiros learned of the atrocities of the war. He was barely a teenager when he decided to join the Constitutionalist Army in Veracruz during the Mexican Revolution. Later in 1937, his social conscience took him travel to Spain, where he joined the Republican army militia. There he reached the rank of Colonel. In 1967, through the Soviet embassy in Mexico, he received the Lenin por la Paz. It consisted of a diploma, medal and twenty-five thousand rubros, money which was given as a gift to the Democratic Republic of Vietnam. By 1972, Siqueiros made a series of independent panels executed in acrylic on Celotex; these works, after being exhibited abroad, were incorporated to the Sala de Arte Público Siqueiros. Moreover, these works are knowned today as Proyecto para mural no realizado (7 original works and 4 scenarios), a work that conveys the vivid color scale of the thematic of war.
The collection of the Sala de Arte Público Siqueiros consists of 215 works that the muralist preserved throughout his career, some from either artistic or sentimental significance. An example is the Retrato del Sastre W. Kennedy (1919), a work of his early period, which was greatly influenced by the metaphysical painting of the artists Carlo Carrà and Giorgio de Chirico. Another work is Nacimiento del Fascismo (1936) with which the artist discovers the “controlled accident” through its immense strength and technique. The works Flores (1961) and Flores para Angélica (1963) are devoted to the respective birthdays of his wife Angelica Arenal. These were made during his confinement in the Lecumberri prison (1960-1964).
Also, Retrato de Angélica is a unique work; it shows a smiling Angelica Arenal despite the profound sadness that reveals her huge eyes. Finally, Cristo de pueblo exposes moments of spiritual sensitivity that Siqueiros experienced while serving his sentence in the Black Palace. Beyond these examples, countless of sketches, drafts, spatial composition sketches, lithographs, woodcuts and models of some murals, as well as 115 works of different authors such as Federico Canessi, Vasili Efimov and Lucio Parigi, are the elements that complement the artistic legacy of David Alfaro Siqueiros.