Monday, June 13, 2011

A Mexican Revolution in Graphic Arts: Art Deco Illustration

Zachary Lindsey's article in our Fall issue looks at the development of a Mexican Art Deco style in the early 20th century following the Mexican revolution. Borrowing from European Deco, Mexican artists seeking a homegrown identity crafted new and vibrant graphic styles that came to dominate the look of the dozens of politics, culture and style magazines that sprang up in those heady, optimistic and chaotic years. Their drawings range from sardonic caricature to elegant beauty. Here is Lindsey's guide to collecting these illustrations.

Back issues of Revista de Revistas for sale in El Laberinto, a used-book store in Mexico City.
 Photo by Zachary Lindsey.

Collecting Mexican Deco Illustrations
Merchants in Mexico City tend to arrange themselves in “tianguis,” areas of the city where store owners all sell similar wares. On Donceles Street near Mexico City’s famous Zocalo, a plaza in the city center, are dozens of used bookstores, many of which sell back issues of El Universal, Revista de Revistas, Proceso, and other magazines from the 1900s. In some stores, such as El Laberinto, a collector can find copies of Revista de Revistas in good condition from the late 1930s onward, featuring more common covers, for as little as 50 pesos (a little less than $5), but to get some of the rarer or older issues, such as ones featuring covers by García Cabral or Andres Audiffred, a collector must go to a store such as Libreria Porrúa, and can expect to pay 400 to 500 pesos (about $40 to $50) for a good or near-mint magazine. Most vendors are friendly and willing to haggle, and if they don’t have a particular magazine, they will direct a collector to a store that may have it.


Ernesto García Cabral, Woman of the Future
cover design for Revista de Revistas, 1925.
Collection of Ernesto García Cabral Sans.

El Laberinto

74-A Donceles Street 
+52 55 5510-9822

Librería Porrúa 
104 Donceles Street 
+52 55 5702-4934, Ext. 718

El Gran Remate
81-1 Donceles Street
+52 55 5510-9012

Librería La Torre de Viejo
97 Miguel Ángel de Quevedo Street
+52 55 5661-1266

Librería Ático
174 Álvaro Obregón Avenue 
+52 55 5264-8230

Librería Teorema
79 Cuauhtémoc Avenue 
+52 55 5525-2037

Librería Hermanos de la Hoja 
78-1 Donceles Street 
+52 55 5512-3790

Librería Inframundo
48 Donceles Street
+52 55 5512-2681

The Museo Nacional de Arte (MUNAL), housed in the former telegraph building at 8 Tacuba Street in downtown Mexico City, holds an enormous amount of Mexican art, including a room devoted to García Cabral, Audiffred and others. +52 55 5130 3400,

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