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Poster, Exposicion Litografias (Exhibition of Lithographs), 1939

This is a poster. It was designed by Francisco Dosamantes and made for (as the client) Galeria de Arte de la Universidad Nacional. It is dated 1939 and we acquired it in 2000. Its medium is lithograph on newsprint. It is a part of the Drawings, Prints, and Graphic Design department.

El Taller de Gráfica Popular (TGP), active in Mexico City from 1937 to 1977, was a printmaking workshop founded by Leopoldo Méndez after the dissolution of the plastic arts section of the Liga de Escritores y Artistas Revolucionarios (LEAR). The artists affiliated with the TGP, such as Alfredo Zalce, Francisco Mora, and Pablo O’Higgins, created strong political images in reaction to the oppressive government of General Lázaro Cardenas in the 1930s. In addition to posters, the artists’ collective created pamphlets and magazine illustrations against fascism and in support of trade unions and the Communist Party. Under the direction of Méndez, the workers’ struggle was depicted in woodcut and linocut that created a visual link between the important political prints of José Guadalupe Posada and social realism. The lithographic prints were produced at La Estampa Mexicana in Mexico City under the direction of Swiss architect Hannes Meyer from 1939 to 1949. The international reputation of the TGP grew with the establishment of workshops Italy, Brazil, and the United States (San Francisco, and New York City), as well as additional Mexican locations in Uruapan and Pátzcuaro.
Francisco Dosamantes specialized in a painting style rooted in social realism with a visual vocabulary influenced by the surrealists. He was affiliated with the ¡30-30! artists’ group in 1929 and studied lithography with Emilio Amero. This poster, featuring a powerful surrealist eye, announces the first exhibition of the TGP, which was held in May of 1939 at the art gallery of the National University of Mexico and featured 20 lithographs.
The acquisition of this poster will add to our collection of 20th-century political posters, which includes examples from the Spanish Civil War as well as American works from the first and second World Wars. This poster will be the first example in the museum’s collection of work by this important Mexican print collective. Early posters by the TGP are difficult to find as they were intended to be plastered on billboards and walls. This acquisition, which is one of the few TGP posters to reflect the surrealist influence from Europe, would significantly strengthen the museum’s holdings as an important work of modernist Latino graphic design.
Prepared by Floramae McCarron Cates for Marilyn Symmes

This object was purchased from Roger Genser (The Prints and the Pauper) and fund: General Acquisitions Endowment. It is credited Museum purchase from General Acquisitions Endowment Fund.

Its dimensions are

45.1 x 59.7 cm (17 3/4 x 23 1/2 in. )

It is signed

On stone right center (by tear duct): F.2.A.

Cite this object as

Poster, Exposicion Litografias (Exhibition of Lithographs), 1939. lithograph on newsprint. Museum purchase from General Acquisitions Endowment Fund. 2000-34-1.

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<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url= |title=Poster, Exposicion Litografias (Exhibition of Lithographs), 1939 |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=26 November 2015 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>

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