July 05, 2004
Diego Rivera, the Cubist Beginnings
Currently at the National Gallery in Washington DC: " The Cubist Paintings of Diego Rivera: Memory, Politics, Place.
Who knew that Rivera was a cubist. When I consider his work, I think of politicized narrative murals. This overview of his early cubist-influenced work gives insight into the development of his stylized mural designs. The volume and density of the cubist compositions seems to have changed his portrayal of the human figure from the exaggerated slenderness of the foppish Adolfo Best Maugard (1913) to the dense, fractured Portrait of Martín Luis Guzmán, painted in 1915, after the beginning of World War I.
The press release reads "Rivera's work has been studied and shown in depth, yet his cubist period remains a less understood aspect of his career. The Cubist Paintings of Diego Rivera will include some 20 works that demonstrate his distinctive approach to synthetic cubism--his use of complex structures of transparent planes, with a particular emphasis on sensory and memory association." I just think it is interesting to look at the early experiments and to observe the growth and change of the artist.
image: No. 9, Nature Morte Espagnole, 1915 by Diego Rivera