Taller de Gráfica Popular
The Taller de Gráfica Popular (Spanish: "People's Graphic Workshop") is an artist's print collective founded in Mexico in 1937 by artists Leopoldo Méndez, Pablo O'Higgins, and Luis Arenal. The collective was primarily concerned with using art to advance revolutionary social causes. The print shop became a base of political activity and abundant artistic output, and attracted many foreign artists as collaborators.
The Workshop was founded in 1937 following the dissolution of the Liga de Escritores y Artistas Revolucionarios (LEAR, Revolutionary Writers’ and Artists’ League), a group of artists who had supported the goals of the Mexican Revolution.
In 1940, muralist David Alfaro Siqueiros launched an armed assault on the residence of exiled Russian Revolutionary Leon Trotsky, using the Taller's print shop as a headquarters and including some artists affiliated with the Taller in his squad.
During the US civil rights movement, Chicano and African American artists such as Elizabeth Catlett produced work at the Taller. The Taller became inspiration to many politically active leftist artists; for example, American expressionist painter Byron Randall went on to found similar artist collectives after becoming an associate member.
The TGP faced financial instability, and had to relocate several times, although Jesús Alvarez Amaya kept it running up to his death in 2010.
During its heyday, the Taller specialized in linoleum prints and woodcuts. It produced posters, handbills, banners, and portfolio editions. The art supported causes such as anti-militarism, organized labor, and opposition to fascism.
The art was often made through the collaborative process, and the Taller took the anti-commercial policy of not numbering prints. However, it did sell prints as part of and was the first political publishing workshop in Mexico to do so.
Under the brand La Estampa Mexicana, the TGP sold song lyrics, posters of heroes and Mexican culture and Left movements worldwide, and gave rise to a new generation of calaveras, the Mexican tradition of humorous poetry ridiculing politicians and other popular figures. The raised fist emerged as a graphic symbol of resistance and unity.
The TGP is still working on art and social issues and it is located in Dr. Villada 46, colonia doctores, in Mexico City.
- Caplow, Deborah (2007). Leopoldo Méndez: Revolutionary Art and the Mexican Print. Austin: University of Texas Press.
- Prignitz, Helga (1992). El Taller de Gráfica Popular en México 1937–1977. Mexico: Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes. LCCN NE544.6.T34 P754.
- McCloskey, Kevin (April 2009). "TGP: A Mexico City Pilgrimage". CommonSense2: A Journal of Progressive Thought. Retrieved 2009-11-29.
- Makin, Jean, ed. (1999). Codex Mendez. Tempe: Arizona State U. See also Prignitz, Helga (1992). El Taller de Gráfica Popular en México 1937–1977. Mexico: Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes.
- Vogel, Susan (2010). Becoming Pablo O’Higgins. San Francisco/Salt Lake City: Pince-Nez Press.
- Cushing, Lincoln. "Taller de Gráfica Popular". docspopuli.org. Retrieved 2009-11-29.
- Ricker, Michael T. "El Taller de Gráfica Popular". Graphic Witness. Retrieved 2009-11-29.
- Mexican posters on social and educational themes
- Walker, John. "Taller de Gráfica Popular". Glossary of Art, Architecture & Design since 1945, 3rd. ed.
- Gráfica Mexciana, a searchable, sortable catalog of works from the Taller de Gráfica Popular, with more than 4,700 entries and 150 works of art.
- "Taller de Gráfica prints and posters". Princeton University Library Digital Collections. Retrieved 2009-11-29.
- "Guide to the Taller de Gráfica Popular collection, 1935-1995, bulk 1953-1958". Online Archive of California. Retrieved 2009-11-29.