Diego Rivera ( Mexican, 1886 - 1957 )
Although known primarily for his involvement in the Mexican mural movement and his brightly colored murals focused on social issues, Diego Rivera also executed a number of portraits, like this self-portrait, that show his talent as a draftsman. This lithograph was completed shortly before the artist’s departure for the United States, where he worked for three years. At the time of this portrait, Rivera had become the foremost leader in the Mexican mural movement, having completed a project for the National Palace in Mexico City in 1929 and one for the Palace of Cortés in Cuernavaca in 1930.
Alongside murals, printmaking was an important medium for Mexican artists following the Mexican Revolution of 1910-1920. Because of their reproducibility, prints were considered an effective way to express the social and political concerns of the period. Like Käthe Kollwitz in Germany, many Mexican artists created prints that focused on the plight of the oppressed and the struggles of the Mexican people.
This self-portrait was published by the American Carl Zigrosser (1819-1975), director of the Weyhe Gallery in New York. Zigrosser was responsible for promoting and publishing some of the most important prints and print portfolios of American and Mexican artists in the 1930s.
William Keyse Rudolph, Label text, 2005.
Label text, 2017.