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David Alfaro Siqueiros (Mexican, 1896–1974)
LOT ID: 77815
Recuerdos del Paricutin, ie. circa 1960

Oil, on canvas.
27.56 х 35.43 in. (70 x 89.99 cm.)
Signed, "Siqueiros CP" (Carcel Preventiva) on the lower left, and on verso, "Recuerdos del Paricutin Oleo/Tela Siqueiros"
Lot description
"Recuerdos del Paricutin" by Modern Mexican artist, Jose David Alfaro Siqueiros (December 29, 1896 in Camargo, Chihuahua, Mexico - January 6, 1974 in Cuernavaca, Morelos, Mexico), was painted during a time when the artist was imprisoned in Carcel Preventiva. The artist was a social realist painter and muralist best known for large murals in fresco that established the "Mexican Mural Renaissance" together with Diego Rivera and José Clemente Orozco. As a result of Mexico's high humidity and strong sun, oil painting did not lend itself to "Los Tres Grandes", and Siqueiros sought a more direct media. This muralist tradition lead to the development of pyroxylin, a lacquer developed as automobile paint, used here in "Recuerdos del Paricutin" to achieve a composition of flowing energy. This work measures 27.56 x 35.43 inches (70 x 90 cm) and is in excellent condition, accompanied by a certificate of authenticity issued by Adriana Siqueiros.

Always striving for innovation and creative techniques in his work, Siqueros’ art is expressed in a vividly lush palette with dynamic forms and political imagery. His earlier work reflect the religious influence of his childhood, having been raised with a strong Catholic education. As his later works progressed and Siqueiros became more fundamentally involved in activism, his passion for art was matched with his idea that art had to be political in order for it to have substance. Adamantly against Fascism, Siqueiros served three years in the Spanish Civil war, eventually rising to the rank of lieutenant colonel. After returning to Mexico City in 1939, Siqueiros began one of his most infamous murals, ‘Portrait of the Bourgeoisie’ which strongly expressed the enmity of both Fascism and Capitalism. Before its completion, Siqueiros led an attack on Leon Trotsky’s house of asylum in Mexico City in 1940, raking the house with machine guns and explosives. He was firmly opposed to Trotsky (siding instead with Stalin) in the schism that drove the Communist world apart. Though Trotsky was unhurt and would not be assassinated until the following August, the act solidified Siqueiros’ place in political activism and revolution, often being imprisoned for his support of labor unions, struggle against Fascism, and stance towards government reforms.

Select Public Collections:
Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, NY)
Museum of Modern Art (New York, NY)
Art Institute of Chicago (Chicago, IL)
Philadelphia Museum of Art (Philadelphia, PA)
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden (Washington, DC)
Recuerdos del Paricutin by David Siqueiros
  • Recuerdos del Paricutin by David Siqueiros
  • Recuerdos del Paricutin by David Siqueiros
  • Recuerdos del Paricutin by David Siqueiros
  • Recuerdos del Paricutin by David Siqueiros
  • Recuerdos del Paricutin by David Siqueiros
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