Mexico

related books by Stanley Meisler:

Artwork for the masses borne of revolution

Artwork for the masses borne of revolution

Artwork for the masses borne of revolution

Artwork for the masses borne of revolution

Artwork for the masses borne of revolution

October 29, 2006
October 2006
Book Review

Artwork for the masses borne of revolution
An exhibition highlights the golden age of Mexican printmaking. In the wake of a long revolution against dictatorship, Mexican artists vowed in the 1920s to create works that would instruct and enrich the masses. They even signed a manifesto proclaiming, "We repudiate so-called easel painting and every kind of art favored by ultra-intellectual circles." Out of this mood came the great murals of modern Mexico, especially the monumental works of Diego Rivera, José Clemente Orozco and David Alfaro Siqueiros. But the mood also spawned a lesser-known burst of creativity — an enormous production of prints for 30 years. Unlike paintings that would likely be savored by rich families in their homes, the multiples of these woodcuts, linoleum cuts and lithographs could reach many people...

Of Majesty and Mayhem

Of Majesty and Mayhem

Of Majesty and Mayhem

Of Majesty and Mayhem

Of Majesty and Mayhem

July 1, 2004
July 2004
Book Review

Of Majesty and Mayhem
An exhibition of ancient Maya art points up the opulence and violence of the great Mesoamerican civilization. While most of Europe was mired in the Dark Ages, the Maya of Mexico and Central America flourished. Living off a bounty of corn, they devised an elaborate calendar, charted stars and planets and invented the most complex written language in the Americas. And at the peak of their civilization, from a.d. 600 to 850, the Maya built monumental cities and produced art—stone sculptures, painted ceramics, delicate figurines and jade jewelry and masks—of astonishing beauty and striking, revelatory detail. Recently, scholars studying these pre-Columbian artworks have gained new insights into the life of the ancient Maya kings and their retinues. Now, an exhibition at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. of more than 130 Maya masterworks, many of them never before displayed in the United States, affirms the pomp and sophistication of Maya courtly life, from its royals’ fondness for mirror-gazing to its chilling brutality...

Of Courts and Kings

Of Courts and Kings

Of Courts and Kings

Of Courts and Kings

Of Courts and Kings

April 12, 2004
April 2004
Book Review

Of Courts and Kings
During the last years of the 20th century, scholars managed to break the code of the hieroglyphics of the ancient civilization of the Maya people. Perhaps 85% of the writing on Maya artwork and monuments can now be deciphered. The new knowledge has led to new understanding. A Maya exhibition, which just opened at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, is one of the first gifts of the new scholarship. “Courtly Art of the Ancient Maya” places some of the finest pieces of Maya art into a coherent and focused story about the life of the kings and courts that ruled the splendid city-states in what is now Mexico and Central America during the height of Maya civilization from the years AD 600 to 800. Maya art has long been admired for its beauty and scenes of realistic action. “There is a poignancy about Maya art that reaches into your heart and soul,” says Kathleen Berrin of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, a curator of the exhibition. “There is an elegance and beauty that appeals to Western taste.” The exhibition, which displays more than 130 pieces, includes some of the finest samples of this appeal...

The Mexican Elections: A Theater of the Absurd Before Electoral Reform

The Mexican Elections: A Theater of the Absurd Before Electoral Reform

The Mexican Elections: A Theater of the Absurd Before Electoral Reform

The Mexican Elections: A Theater of the Absurd Before Electoral Reform

The Mexican Elections: A Theater of the Absurd Before Electoral Reform

July 2, 2000
July 2000
Book Review

The Mexican Elections: A Theater of the Absurd Before Electoral Reform
[OPINION] Mexicans once had a unique system for picking a new president: A president ruled like a czar for six years and then personally picked his successor. The outgoing president, in fact, was the only voter who counted in Mexican elections. He was, as political cartoonist Eduardo del Rio once put it, "the Big Finger." As soon as the Big Finger pointed at someone, the happy target was anointed as the new president of Mexico. Succession was clear-cut. Yet, despite the monopoly enjoyed by the president, the air crackled with politicking. Influential Mexicans refused to sit back and wait for the Big Finger to point. Instead, they did all they could to push the Big Finger this way and that. Mexicans tried to persuade the president that their man was a dynamo and all his rivals ninnies or blackguards. The maneuvering metamorphosed into a comic cockpit, and I found myself right in the middle of it a quarter-century ago, when I was The Times correspondent in Mexico City...

Echeverria's Mexico - Reacting to Big-Stick Diplomacy

Echeverria's Mexico - Reacting to Big-Stick Diplomacy

Echeverria's Mexico - Reacting to Big-Stick Diplomacy

Echeverria's Mexico - Reacting to Big-Stick Diplomacy

Echeverria's Mexico - Reacting to Big-Stick Diplomacy

February 7, 1976
February 1976
Book Review

Echeverria's Mexico - Reacting to Big-Stick Diplomacy
Americans, when they think of Mexico, see it as a pleasant place for midwinter holidays, a rich source of (perhaps authentic) pre-Columbian treasures, an accommodating provider of divorces, or a more or less permanent refuge from the demands of 20th-century industrial life. However, Mexico presents no problems, and therefore Americans do not think about it very much. But for Mexicans, the United States is the big problem and they think about it all the time. They have been doing so with renewed intensity during the current administration of President Luis Echeverria, a proud, ambitious man in a proud, small country. Mexican relations with the United States have long been founded on humiliation and dependence. Mexicans know that the United States is usually strong enough to work its will - whether conquering all the land from Texas to California or invading in pursuit of bandits or closing the border to punish Mexico for lax drug enforcement. All this is seen by Mexicans as a reflection of their weakness as much as American strength. It is not an easy assessment for them to accept. No matter how urbane he may seem, a Mexican official has trouble keeping resentment out of his feelings when he deals with the United States...

Spain in Mexico - Still Loyal to the Loyalists

Spain in Mexico - Still Loyal to the Loyalists

Spain in Mexico - Still Loyal to the Loyalists

Spain in Mexico - Still Loyal to the Loyalists

Spain in Mexico - Still Loyal to the Loyalists

November 15, 1975
November 1975
Book Review

Spain in Mexico - Still Loyal to the Loyalists
Reports on Mexican President Luis Echeverria Alvarez's reaction to Spain's Generalisimo Francisco Franco's execution of five revolutionaries in Spain in September 1975. Echeverria's description of the Spanish dictatorship; Call to the United Nations Security Council to expel Spain from the U.N.; Destruction of Echeverria's campaign to succeed Kurt Waldheim as Secretary General in 1976.

Mexico

Mexico

Mexico

Mexico

Mexico

February 1, 1975
February 1975
Book Review

Mexico
To understand Mexico, an outsider should put aside his images of cactus and sombreros and even of Oscar Lewis’ Children of Sanchez for a while, and take an evening stroll down Avenida Revolucion or Avenida Insurgentes, or the ancient streets behind the Zocalo, or any of the other frenetic shopping areas of Mexico City. While the snarled and sometimes decrepit cars honk incessantly and puff out black fumes in the streets, the laborers and clerks of the city rush from shop to shop for after-work purchases, perhaps cheap bread, cheap shoes, expensive jeans. Families join for the excursion, mothers carrying blanketed infants, fathers tugging moonfaced children. The crowds are colored gaily by the neon storefronts that occasionally obscure the delightful porfirian or baroque architecture of old buildings. The shoppers wear hip-length sweaters or rebozos or windbreakers. Many wear clothes that are old but rarely tattered, neat and functional but rarely fashionable. By American standards, they are a poor people. Yet it is a poverty with which an American can sympathize, even if he has not experienced it. By all measures, Mexico is a developing country of the Third World, but Mexico City does not have the exotic and incredible, pervasive poverty of Calcutta, with its thousands of human wretches hunting for a piece of sidewalk on which to sleep. Nor does it have the poverty of the African Sahel, with its stick-boned, starving old people and little children. These are miseries so terrible that they blunt the senses and elude the imagination of most Americans. But this is not so in Mexico...

Letter from Mexico - Mexican Art

Letter from Mexico - Mexican Art

Letter from Mexico - Mexican Art

Letter from Mexico - Mexican Art

Letter from Mexico - Mexican Art

December 19, 1959
December 1959
Book Review

Letter from Mexico - Mexican Art
MEXICO CITY’S Palace of Fine Arts assigns one of its salons to modern art and another to Mexican art, but both, like all the others, exhibit the same kind of paintings. In tiers of galleries, this huge museum offers little but work by twentieth-century Mexicans. A first look is far from a dull experience. Eager for more, I marched from room to room, excited by a mural still in progress, by the stark perspective of Siqueiros, by the cluttered symbols of Rivera, by the bright colors and stunted figures of young artists, by the mystery of a powerful art spawned in a political revolution. Only later did doubt creep in. Where do young Mexicans go, I wondered, to find out about Botticelli or El Greco or Rembrandt or Degas or Picasso or de Kooning? Later, at the small Antonio Souza Gallery, the American manager discussed her related problem. The gallery displayed numerous canvases by Leo Rosshandler, a Dutch painter living in Mexico, who paints huge, frightening birds in thick blacks, browns and whites. Although visitors gazed long and quietly at them, sales were meager. “The Mexican public has not been educated beyond Mexican nationalistic art,” the manager said. “They want the usual paintings of the Indian woman with her rebozo and little child.”During my stay, a brisk controversy in the newspapers, stirred by José Luis Cuevas, has emphasized the significance of the gallery’s problem...

Theatre in Mexico

Theatre in Mexico

Theatre in Mexico

Theatre in Mexico

Theatre in Mexico

September 19, 1959
September 1959
Book Review

Theatre in Mexico
MEXICO CITY’S Concordia, a restaurant doubling as a playhouse, introduced me to Mexican theatre. As I approached the place, several young people were milling about on the street in front, including a huge ruffian with a black eye. Spotting him, I thought that excursions to the Mexican stage were perhaps not for me. But, suddenly, he pushed open the door and jumped into the restaurant, the others rushing after him. My ruffian and his friends were actors waiting for their cues during the evening’s first performance of Las cosas simples (The Simple Things), a play by a twenty-seven-year-old Mexican, Hector Mendoza. Inside, watching the second performance, I discovered that mistaking actors for spectators was part of the production’s charm. The play was about life in a diner near a college, and the Concordia looked just like that. The actors performed around a luncheon counter and five tables in front, while the audience munched their supper and followed the play from the other twenty-five tables. At times the actors moved into the audience to borrow a napkin or ask for a match — on one occasion, to kiss a bald patron on the head. The Concordia and Las cosas simples, which evoked a Saroyanesque atmosphere, are not entirely typical of Mexican theatre, but they offered a promise that the Mexican stage bristled with vitality. Several weeks of theatre-going have fulfilled that promise...