1. Course Description:
A survey of Mexican art from its beginning to the present. Includes Pre-Columbian, Colonial and Modern art in Mexico as well as contemporary Mexican-American artistic expressions.

This course is a survey of the art of Mexico spanning from the pre-Columbian period through the 21st century, and to include Chicanx art. Beginning with pre-Columbian art, major monuments of sculpture, architecture, and painting will be studied ranging from approximately ca. 2000 BCE until the Conquest.

For this period of Mexican art history, the approach is at once historical, in that visual forms and types of cultural production are studied in their development over time and across regions, and anthropological, in the sense that cultures are studied at isolated moments as a way of better understanding the significant roles art and architecture play within them. Emphasis is placed on the ways in which ancient cultures of Mexico represented the human form, visual symbolism and architecture; as well as on the socio-political and religious meanings and contexts.

After pre-Columbian art, our focus then shifts to Mexican Colonial art, to include Casta paintings and Tequitqui architecture. Art of the Mexican Revolution will be surveyed to include the art of political satirist José Guadalupe Posada, known for his popular lithographs and his politically acute calaveras, as well as the photography that captured the Revolution, which has long been considered one of the “iconic” revolutions of the 20th century although distinct from the three revolutions that were still to come, in Russia, China and Cuba.

The rise of modernism in Mexico will be highlighted with the rise of muralism and the artists that were instrumental to this mode of art production  which was meant to promote social change. The rise of a new aesthetic and modes of art making as connected to socio-political issues if the time will be highlighted. We will also learn about other pertinent artists and photographers including Frida Kahlo.

From Mexican modernism, we will end with the art production of the Mexican diaspora, with Chicanx art in Los Angeles, where we will be highlighting the rise of the Chicanx Cultural Renaissance, as informed by identity politics of the 1960s and which gave voice to the burgeoning Chicanx movement to our present times. The consequent rise of a new aesthetic and artistic movement will be considered as articulated through muralism, performance art and photography. It is designed to be of interest and value to the art and non-art major alike.