Inmate from an Insane Asylum, Mexico City


José Luis Cuevas ( Mexican, 1934 - 2017 )

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General Description

A proud member of the Generación de la Ruptura—a group of Mexican artists who sought to rupture, or break away from, the then wildly popular muralism movement—José Luis Cuevas remains staunchly opposed to the expression of political or social themes in art. Heavily influenced by both Pablo Picasso and Francisco de Goya, Cuevas’ subjects are often those living on the fringes of society—madmen, prostitutes, criminals, the impoverished. Here he drew a ward of a Mexico City sanatorium. The figure’s hands peek out from his cloak and gesture nervously in his lap. His mouth opens as if to scream, his eyes cast with a blank stare. Less concerned with recording the unlivable environments endured by patients and inmates, Cuevas worked to convey the miserable psychological and physical state of those within these fringe spaces.

Excerpt from

Tower Gallery: Latin American Art, Label text, 2017.