An exploration of “Vida Americana: Mexican Muralists Remake American Art, 1925-1945,” at the Whitney Museum of American Art. The exhibition examines the work of muralists like Diego Rivera, José Clemente Orozco and David Alfaro Siqueiros, and artists in the United States, from Jacob Lawrence to Jackson Pollock, who were inspired by these muralists. Curator Barbara Haskell is our guide.

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> [Background Music] NEXT, THE VISIT TO THE WHITNEY MUSEUM OF AMERICAN ART.

CLOSED SINCE MARCH DUE TO THE PANDEMIC, THE MUSEUM OPENED THE DOORS AGAIN LAST MONTH, WITH NEW MEASURES TO ENSURE SAFETY AND PROPERTY SOCIAL DISTANCING.

THE MEXICAN REMARK OF AMERICAN ART, 1925 TO 1945 HAS BEEN EXTENDED.

AFTER THE REVOLUTION, THE NEW RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN ART AND THE PUBLIC EMERGED IN MEXICO.

MOST VISIBLE IN WORKS OF THESE ARTISTS.

INSPIRED BY THE STYLE AND SUBJECT MATTER OF THE MURALISTS, ARTISTS IN THE UNITED STATES, FROM JACOB LAWRENCE AND JACKSON POLLIC, STARTED THEIR NARRATIVES IN ART AND HISTORY.

WE SPOKE ABOUT THE 200 WORKS BY 60 MEXICAN AND AMERICAN ARTISTS.

THE LEADING MEXICAN MURAL.

RIVERA, AND SECUROSE.

THE PRESIDENT COMMISSIONED ARTISTS TO CREATE A MONUMENTAL PUBLIC MURALS, FOR MEXICAN HISTORY, AND AFTER THE REVOLUTION, THE COUNTRY THAT HAD BEEN FRACTURED BY THE 10-YEAR CIVIL CONFLICT.

THERE WAS A SENSE IT HAD TO BE REDEFINED.

AND THE REAL MEXICO, A BED ROCK OF A NEW IDENTITY, DRAW FROM EUROPE, AND INDIGENOUS MEXICAN TRADITIONS.

A SELF PORTRAIT THAT SHE CREATED.

THE MURALS CREATED A UNIQUE, POWERFUL AESTHETIC THAT TOLD STORY THAT IS EVERYDAY PEOPLE COULD RELATE TO.

TO AMERICAN ARTISTS, THAT WAS REVOLUTIONARY.

NOTHING LIKE IT HAPPENED SINCE THE ITALIAN RENAISSANCE.

1927, ALL THREE LEADING MURALISTS CAME TO THE U.S., WITH INTENSE RELATIONSHIPS WITH U.S.

ARTISTS.

THE MOST FAMOUS OF THE MEXICAN MURALISTS, HE WAS CALLED THE GREATEST ARTIST THIS SIDE OF THE ATLANTIC, THE HERO OF THE WESTERN WORLD.

THE FRENCH HAVE ALWAYS BEEN CREDITED AS THE DOMINANT INFLUENCES ON U.S. ART.

1900 TO 1950.

THIS REWRITES HISTORY, IT WAS THE MEXICAN ARTISTS WITH THE MOST PROFOUND IDELOGICAL AND AESTHETIC POLITICAL IMPACT ON AMERICAN ARTISTS IN THE TWO DECADES BETWEEN THE WARS.

STAYED IN CALIFORNIA.

COLLEGE.

PROMETHUOUS, WE HAVE THAT AT HALF SCALE.

IT FILLS THE GALLERY WITH THIS COMPOSITION, VOCABULARY.

HE WAS MESMERIZED.

HE SAID IT WAS SOMEBODY THAT ALLOWED HIM TO THINK OF ART FILLED WITH SOCIAL CONTENT AND AESTHETICALLY POWERFUL.

WE HAVE A SERIES FROM THE MIGRATION SERIES.

IT IS EVIDENT HE HAS TAKEN THE COLORS, AND USING THEM TO TELL A STORY ABOUT HIS PEOPLE.

JACKSON POLLACK AS AN 18-YEAR-OLD, HE VISITED THE PROMETTUOUS MURAL, HE WAS ENERGIZED.

HE SAID IT WAS THE MOST IMPORTANT IN THE WESTERN HEMISPHERE.

IN THE ROOM, WE HAVE A NUMBER OF JUXPOSITIONS, SIDE BY SIDE WITH THE WORK, AND IT IS COMPELLING.

HE CHALLENGED THE IMAGERY, SENSE OF TRAGEDY.

ORIGINAL.

THE YOUNGEST OF THE MEXICAN MURALISTS, THE MOST MILITANT POLITICALLY.

WENT TO LOUISIANA IN 1932.

THE BIGGEST MURAL COMMISSIONED BY STERLING.

ASKING HIM TO PAINT A HAPPY MEN, SURROUNDED BY PALM TREES, OF COURSE, WHAT HE CAME UP WITH WAS A STRONG DENUNCIATION OF IMPERALLISM IN LATIN AMERICA.

IN THE CENTER, HE PANTDED IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT.

ASSISTANTS HAD DONE THE REST OF THE MURAL.

AZTEC TEMPLES, HE WENT IN AND PAINTED HIMSELF AN INDIGENOUS MAN ON A CROSS, AND SHE WAS HORRIFIED.

AND THE WHITE WASHED IT.

THE PHOTOGRAPH, TAKEN AT THE TIME.

A POWERFUL MOMENT IN THE EXHIBITION.

THE PICTURE IS AESTHETICALLY SHORTENING OF FORM.

NEW INSPIRATION FROM THE MEXICANS.

WHAT ARTISTS ARE DEALING WITH, THE OTHER ASPECTS OF THE EXHIBITION IS THE WORK IS SO POWERFUL, AESTHET KAESHLGS CONVEY A SOCIAL MESSAGE.

IT DOES HAVE A SOCIAL ROLE, ART DOES SHOW US SOMETHING ABOUT HOW WE CAN VIEW THE WORLD.

I THINK THAT IS A LESSON THAT IS EXPRESSED IN THIS EXHIBITION, AND I HOPE EVERYBODY COMES AND CAN ENJOY.