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Torches, from Río Escondido

A work made of linocut in black on cream wove paper.
© 2018 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / SOMAAP, Mexico City

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  • A work made of linocut in black on cream wove paper.

Date:

1948

Artist:

Leopoldo Méndez
Mexican, 1902-1969

About this artwork

These dynamic, rough-hewn linocuts from a 1948 limited-edition portfolio were originally produced by Méndez to serve as full-screen backdrops for the credits of the 1947 feature film Río Escondido (Hidden River). The first of several collaborations with director Emilio Fernández, the film provided Méndez with a platform to create a “moving mural” capable of reaching new audiences. In the film, a young, idealistic schoolteacher, played by María Félix, is sent by the government to the remote, impoverished village of Río Escondido, where a cruel local boss controls the town’s resources. The teacher’s resistance to the boss’s authority serves as an inspiration to the townsfolk, who eventually overthrow their oppressors. Both the film and the prints highlight the fragile reality in which rural Mexicans lived and underscore the importance of popular resistance as a means of social change.

Español:
Estos dinámicos grabados de trazo áspero formaron parte de un portafolio de edición limitada publicado en 1948 y fueron producidos originalmente por Méndez como fondos para los créditos de la película Río Escondido de 1947. La primera de varias colaboraciones con el director Emilio Fernández, la película le ofreció a Méndez una plataforma para crear un “mural en movimiento” capaz de llegar a nuevos públicos. En la cinta, una joven e idealista maestra, interpretada por María Félix, es comisionada por el gobierno para ir al remoto y empobrecido pueblo de Río Escondido, en donde un cacique tiránico controla los recursos del pueblo. La resistencia de la maestra a la autoridad del cacique sirve de inspiración para los pobladores, quienes a la postre vencen a sus opresores. Tanto la película como los grabados hacen hincapié en la frágil realidad del México rural de la época y destacan la importancia de la resistencia popular como medio para el cambio social.

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Prints and Drawings

Artist

Leopoldo Méndez

Title

Torches, from Río Escondido

Origin

México

Date

1948

Medium

Linocut in black on cream wove paper

Dimensions

305 x 417 mm (image); 389 x 505 mm (sheet)

Credit Line

Anonymous gift

Reference Number

1950.1371.9

Copyright

© 2018 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / SOMAAP, Mexico City

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email . Information about image downloads and licensing is available here.

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