Baile En Tehauntepec
Diego Rivera, David Siqueiros, and Jose Clemente
Orozco were known as Los Tres Grandes, the “Big
Three” Mexican artists who revolutionized
In 1921, under President Alvaro Obregon (1920-24),
the government decided that outdoor public art,
as a visual medium, highly accessible to the
public, could play an important role in bringing
art to the masses. The Mexican government commissioned
Jose Clemente Orozco, David Alvaro Siqueiros,
and Rivera to paint a series of fresco cycles
for public buildings. In general, their works
reflected the government's nationalistic sentiments
and initialized the artistic movement which
became known as Mexican Mural Renaissance. It
celebrated Mexican heritage from early Mesoamerica
through the Revolution.
This mural movement did have predecessors.
It can be linked to Jose Posada, “teacher”
of Rivera, known for his socio-political calaveras
(prints using skulls and skeletons).
Once word began to spread, painters from other
countries began traveling to Mexico in order
to study and work in the Mexican art movement.
Some of the well-known artists involved in this
great fresco revival were Isamu Noguchi, Pablo
O’Higgins, and George Biddle.
In 1929, Rivera was appointed head of the
Department of Plastic Crafts at the Ministry
of Education, a position which he held until
1938. With the help of Jose Orozco and David
Siqueiros, Rivera created the Labor Union of
Technical Workers, Painters and Sculptors.
The three artists devoted themselves to painting
large scale murals with the intention of putting
art in the public domain. The artists wanted
the victory of the Revolution to be told to
the entire public and succeeded in their quest.