Thursday, July 21, 2011

"Murals Under the Stars" in Long Beach begins July 31

A new edition of Murals Under the Stars by Gregorio Luke will be
presented at the Museum of Latin American Art (628 Alamitos Avenue,
Long Beach, CA 90802) starting on July 31st featuring the murals of
David Alfaro Siqueiros, continuing on August 7th with Diego Rivera
and concluding on August 14th with Jose Clemente Orozco all shows
begin at 7 p.m. Tickets are $20 general seating, $30 priority, and
$10 students and seniors. For tickets and information call
562-437-1689 or visit The murals are projected life
size on a 100 sq foot wall using 4 powerful digital projectors. Mr.
Gregorio Luke provides historical context and biographical

David Alfaro Siqueiros
The first presentation on July 31st at 7:00 p.m. will be dedicated to
David Alfaro Siqueiros. Siqueiros has a special relevance in
California; his mural America Tropical, painted in Olvera Street in
1932, will be reopened to the public in 2012.

Siqueiros is the most controversial of the muralists, he was
imprisoned for his political beliefs 13 times and was exiled from 10
countries! Siqueiros was a soldier in the Mexican Revolution and the
Spanish Civil War and was personally involved in an attempt to murder
Leon Trotsky. Siqueiros’ politics were so controversial that they
have obscured his greatness as a painter. Gregorio Luke’s
presentation will stress the role of Siqueiros as one of the great
innovators of the 20th century. He used new materials and techniques
such as stucco and the spray gun to paint outdoor murals. Siqueiros
also experimented with the use of perspective and foreshortening.
Some of his murals, as will be demonstrated in this lecture, appear
to move with the spectator. Siqueiros is also a powerful force in
American art; prominent artists such as Jackson Pollack studied with
him. His influence is also felt in Chicano and Latino artists.

The Siqueiros murals that will be projected are: Tropical America
1932, Portrait of the Bourgeoisie 1939, New Democracy 1944, Torture
of Cuauhtémoc 1950, For Complete Social Security of All Mexicans
1953, Velocity 1953, From the Nation to the University 1953, From the
Porfiriato to the Revolution 1957, and March of Humanity 1965-71.

Diego Rivera
On Sunday August the 6th at 7:00 p.m. we will present the murals of
Diego Rivera. Perhaps the most famous of the muralists, Rivera, was
extraordinarily gifted and at 12, was admitted to the prestigious
School of San Carlos in Mexico City. Rivera continued his studies in
Europe, where he lived for more than 14 years. Rivera mastered all
the styles of painting, from Classicism to Impressionism and Cubism.

Rivera contributed significantly to the renewed value placed on
Mexico’s indigenous civilizations. He was also profoundly
influential in the establishment of a Mexican aesthetic. Rivera had a
flamboyant personality, and was controversial in both his political
and personal life. He married Frida Kahlo, and befriended figures
such as Pablo Picasso, Leon Trotsky and Edsel Ford. MoLAA’s
presentation of Rivera’s murals will include the controversial
mural he painted for Rockefeller at the RCA building in 1932 that was
destroyed because he had included a portrait of Lenin.

The Rivera murals that will be projected are: The Liberated Earth
1926, History of Mexico from the Conquest to the Future 1929-30, The
Making of a Fresco 1931, Detroit Industry 1932, Man Controller of the
Universe 1934, Pan-American Unity 1940, Dream of a Sunday Afternoon
in the Alameda Park 1947-48, The History of Medicine in Mexico 1953,
and A Popular History of Mexico 1953.

Jose Clemente Orozco
The series will conclude August 14th at 7:00 p.m. with Jose Clemente
Orozco. Many scholars consider Orozco as Mexico’s greatest artist.
His life was very difficult. As a teenager, he lost his left hand in
an explosion in a chemistry class and his eyesight was seriously
impaired. Orozco started his career as a cartoonist, which permitted
him to analyze society. He could see through the grandiose speeches
of politicians and the falsehood of “high” society.

Orozco’s disdain for hypocrisy and vanity was only equaled by his
deep compassion for the dispossessed and his solidarity with the
people. In this sense, his paintings of the revolution are very
different than those of his contemporaries; while they saw military
victory, Orozco saw the suffering of the people. Orozco was the
opposite of Rivera and Siqueiros. He would never join a political
party and criticized with equal force, Fascism and Communism. Orozco
lived for fourteen years in the United States. In Guadalajara,
Mexico, he would create his masterpiece, Man In Fire that will be
projected in MoLAA.

The Orozco murals that will be projected are: La Trinchera 1923,
Prometheus 1930, Revolution and Universal Brotherhood: Carrillo
Puerto and Lenin 1931, Revolution Universal Brotherhood: Gandhi,
Imperialism and Slavery 1931, The Epic of American Civilization
1932-34, Catharsis 1934, Man In Flire 1936-39, Dive Bomber and Tank
1940, and Disasters of War 1940.

Gregorio Luke is an expert in Mexican and Latin American art and
culture. He has presented Murals Under the Stars at MoLAA since the
year 2000. Luke has given over 1,000 lectures in Mexico, United
States, Europe, China and South America in institutions such as The
Library of Congress, The Smithsonian Institution, the San Francisco
Museum of Art, the Detroit Institute of Art, and universities such as
Harvard, Columbia, Georgetown and UNAM, among others.

Among the positions he has held are Director of the Museum of Latin
American Art in Long Beach, Consul of Cultural Affairs of Mexico in
Los Angeles and First Secretary of the Embassy of Mexico in
Washington D.C. He is currently the president of ARCOS (Art in
Communities and Schools) a non-profit organization whose mission is
to bring arts to families living in low-income communities.

This year the Long Beach Arts Council named Gregorio Luke Artist of
the Year 2011. Among the awards he has received are the Irving
Leonard Award by the Hispanic Society of the Library of Congress
(1995); the El Angel Award by the Bilingual Foundation of the Arts
(2006) and the Local Heroes Award by KCET (2008). His publications
include: “Beyond Borders: Discovery and Collaboration” 1997,
“Soto: Art and Science” 2006 and “Latin America the tradition
of Inclusiveness 2007.

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