Siqueiros, David Alfaro

Siqueiros, David Alfaro

biographical name


The Central Administration Building (left) at University City, Mexico City, with a mosaic by David …—Shostal Associates

(born Dec. 29, 1896, Chihuahua, Mex.—died Jan. 6, 1974, Cuernavaca) Mexican painter. A Marxist activist since his youth, he fought in the Mexican Revolution alongside Venustiano Carranza, who rewarded him by sponsoring his studies in Europe. Back in Mexico (1922), he began his lifework of decorating public buildings with murals and organizing unions of artists and workers. With Diego Rivera and José Clemente Orozco, he cofounded the renowned school of Mexican mural painting. His activism interrupted his career several times when he was imprisoned, chose self-imposed exile, and fought in the Spanish Civil War. His murals are marked by great dynamism, monumental size and vigour, and a limited colour range subordinated to dramatic effects of light and shadow. His easel paintings (e.g., Echo of a Scream, 1937) helped establish his international reputation. In 1968 he became the first president of the Mexican Academy of Arts.

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