Mexican printmaker José Guadalupe Posada (b. 1852 Aguascalientes, d. 1913 Mexico City) died three years into his country’s revolution, yet the thousands of satirical illustrations he left behind suggest he was always fighting injustice. After Posada: Revolution revolves around a “forest” of over one-hundred rarely seen Posada images as they circulated during his lifetime: in broadsides, or popular single-page newspapers illustrating political commentary, crime stories, ballads about everyday life, and more. Featured are the printmaker’s beloved calaveras (skeletons), as well as his fiercest works depicting moments from the Mexican Revolution, such as the exploits of leader Emiliano Zapata. The exhibition, drawn from the collection of Lineaus Hooper Lorette, recontextualizes Posada’s influential work, which is often presented through posthumously-produced stand-alone prints. Here the broadsides are shown, alongside several seldom-seen small “chap” books and metal-faced wood printing blocks, photographs from the period by Augustin Victor Casasola, and related archival material, including satirical political magazines Posada may have read. Further, After Posada illuminates the printmaker’s legacy through commissioned works by three contemporary artists—Andrea Bowers, Rafa Esparza, and Cruz Ortiz—each of whom have strong yet different relationships to Posada’s practice. While Bowers’ large-scale prints of political figures are an homage to Posada’s, Esparza’s adobe installations and performances are inspired, in part, by the printmaker’s efforts to make the marginalized more visible. For Ortiz, Posada has served as a lifelong touchstone for his own printmaking activities inside and outside the studio, and his use of the vernacular medium as a language of resistance. Both inter-generational and multi-media, After Posada: Revolution, which will be on view at EPMA during Day of the Dead in October 2018, links Posada’s practice with that of others. Thus, it enlivens understandings of not only a seminal figure in art history but also of what it means to address social and political injustice in art, past and present.
Support for this exhibition is provided by Texas Commission on the Arts.What's Happening