There are many things we’ve missed over the past year. One of the art exhibitions that I would have most liked to have seen was the Los Tres Grandes at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, a show that has just finished. It told of the work of the three great Mexican muralists of the early twentieth century, Diego Rivera, José Clemente Orozco and David Alfaro Siqueiros, and their influence on American art, including that of Jackson Pollock and Jacob Lawrence.
I have seen the work of two of Los Tres Grandes in the flesh, as it were. Rivera’s Detroit Industry murals in the Detroit Institute of Art, is a true masterpiece; it is worth visiting Detroit simply for the murals. Orozco’s The Epic of American Civilization in the library of Dartmouth College in New Hampshire was a real surprise, an unexpected find. So, here are two Whitney videos about Los Tres Grandes, the first that introduces the show, the second a conversation between art historians Barbara Haskell and Alejandro Anreus on the art and ideology of Rivera, Orozco and Siqueiro, of the differences between them, both artistic and political, and their differing influences on American art. See also my posts about, and photographs of, Rivera’s Detroit Industry murals and Orozco’s The Epic of American Civilization.