Mexican Modernity: 20th-Century Paintings from the Zapanta Collection highlights some of the most significant modern Mexican artists. Organized chronologically, the exhibition includes Early Masters, Mexican Muralists, Second-Generation Muralists, Introspection, La Ruptura, and The Oaxacan Movement––all groups that represent dynamic moments and movements in the evolution of 20th century Mexican art.
The forty paintings, prints, drawings, and mixed media art in the exhibition include works by several generations of modern Mexican artists, and provide an overview of important artistic styles and an in-depth consideration of poignant themes, political events, and social narratives that informed their creative output.
Several early works, including an 18th century religious painting Nuestra Señora de los Dolores (Our Lady of Sorrows) by Miguel Cabrera (1695–1768), set the stage for later works that reflect a changing Mexican art scene. Works by Raúl Anguiano (1915–2006) and the famous muralist, Diego Rivera (1866–1957), celebrate distinctly indigenous and Mexican people and landscapes, while later artists such as Rufino Tamayo (1899–1991) and Leonara Carrington (1917–2011), illustrate how Mexican artists and artists working in Mexico, participated in the broader international art scene.
The Zapanta Collection was amassed over more than 25 years by Dr. Richard Zapanta, a fourth-generation Mexican-American, and his wife Rebecca, who established close friendships with many of the artists they collect. The impetus
behind the exhibition is the collectors’ interest in making this remarkable collection of Mexican art accessible to institutions like the McClung, whose holdings may be limited in this area. The accompanying illustrated catalogue and label copy are presented in Spanish and English.