Mexico Arts and Architecture

In the three centuries of Spanish domination, architecture followed the Spanish events in Mexico, except for some local characterizations. A typical 16th century complex. it consists of a church, with an adjoining convent, a square and a cemetery in front, surrounded by crenellated walls; there is a large cross in the center and four chapels for funeral services at the corners; a fifth ‘open chapel’ is leaning mostly against the facade of the church (the chapels, with an original mixture of Romanesque, Plateresque and Gothic styles; the churches, with medieval simplicity, with a single nave covered with a roof, or with a barrel vault or ogive, and Plateresque portal). Among the oldest buildings: Franciscan monasteries of Tepeaca (1530), of Huejotzingo (1531) and of Cholula (T. de Alcaraz); Augustinian complexes, in Yuririapundaro, in Cuitzco, in Acolmán, in Actopam, of greater architectural and decorative refinement; of the civil buildings remain the plateresque facade of the residence of the governor F. de Montejo in Mérida, the arcades and loggias of the palace of H. Cortés in Cuernavaca. The first painter to come from Spain was the Italian-speaking Flemish S. Pereyns, active between 1566 and 1616 (high altar in the Franciscan church in Huejotzingo). The first Spanish painter born in Mexico was Juan de Arrué (main altar in the church of Coatlinchán, in Puebla). Vast cycles of frescoes, in which the various Spanish schools mixed with Flemish and Italian elements, decorated the walls of the convents (among the most interesting, in Acolmán and Actopam). In the sculpture of the 16th century. we can distinguish the flat architectural decorations, made by artists linked to local tradition and taste, and the sculptures of the altars, made by Europeans, in the Plateresque style.

According to directoryaah, the 17th century. marks the apogee of Spanish architecture in M ​​.: Baroque tendencies developed here culminating in the 18th century Churrigueresque style. The use of the azulejo spread widely. Numerous monasteries and churches were built: the complex of S. Domenico in Oaxaca is noteworthy, and the cathedral of Mexico City, a reference model for later Mexican churches; the episcopal seminary of Guadalajara (1693) reveals a baroque taste only in the portals and in the mighty colored stone columns of the patio. Baroque painting, which is influenced by European influences (Ribera, Rubens, Murillo), is represented by B. de Echave, of the Valencian school, and L. Juárez; in the second half of the century the Andalusian S. de Arteaga emerged; at the end of the century, J. Suárez.

The 18th century. it is marked by the triumph of the Churrigueresque style (altar of the kings of the cathedral of Mexico City). Among the main works, for compositional clarity and decoration, the façade of the church of Tepotzotlán and the original richness of the façades of the Santissima, S. Veracruz and S. Giovanni di Dio in Mexico City should be remembered. The characteristics of Mexican architecture of the 18th century. (organicity of plant, richness and liveliness of decoration) are summarized in the Pocito chapel in Guadalupe. The transitional painting between the two centuries is represented by J. Correa, C. de Villalpando, J. and N. Rodríguez Juárez. Typically eighteenth-century are J. Ibarra and Mexico Cabrera, followed by Mexico Ruiz, FA Vallejo and J. Alcíbar. The sculpture is aimed at decorative purposes, while the applied arts have great development.

In the 19th century. the Academia de Nobles Artes of St. Charles of New Spain, founded by Charles III, plays an important rolein 1781. The anti-Baroque reaction was led by the Valencian Mexico Tolsá, architect decorator, and by the Creole FE Tresguerras, architect, painter, sculptor; his masterpiece is the Carmelite church of Celaya (1802-07), the epilogue of Hispano-Mexican architecture. For painting we must remember Mexico Jimeno. The influence of Tolsá remains in the Indian P. Ixtolinque, sculptor, and in R. Alconedo, engraver and painter. In the second half of the century, the presence of European teachers, mainly Italians, spread a mannered academicism. The painters S. Pina and S. Rebull were perfected in Europe; most notable was JM Velasco, landscape architect. Then a nationalist current emerged, of which F. Parra was an eminent example. A certain fervor produced the teaching at the Academy of Spanish AM Fabrés and the impressionistic tendency of the group gathered around A.

After the triumph of the revolution, the major representatives of Mexican painting are D. Rivera, JC Orozco, DA Siqueiros, who established themselves for socially inspired drama in large murals of public buildings. Then emerged a painting that was sometimes intimist and Europeanizing, but more often realistic and aimed at inspirations drawn from pre-Columbian traditions (F. Kahlo); among the followers of this orientation stands R. Tamayo. In the architectural field, the position of the government, after the revolution, was incisive for the planning of building plans and above all for the support given to the new architecture, while a decisive role for the rejection of architectural forms of the past was played by J. Villagrán García and his pupils (de la Mora, Yáñez etc.) influenced by functionalist currents or by Le Corbusier. Among the companies of particular commitment in the mid-20th century. it is the construction of the University City of Mexico City (by Mexico Pani, E. del Moral), which like other public buildings, associates contemporary architectural methods with traditional decorative elements (frescoes, mosaics, reliefs). In the 1960s the school building program was important: RP Vázquez and his collaborators, using targeted prefabricated elements, fulfill their functional, economic and social needs. Among the notable personalities, F. Candela should be mentioned.

In the 1970s the State intensified its construction policy by promoting new public investment programs: residential units (El Rosario, 1972-76, Mexico City), hospitals, schools, cultural centers (Mexico City: College of Mexico di T. González de León and A. Zabludovsky, 1974-75; Cultural Center of the University of Mexico by O. Núñez Ruiz Velasco, 1979; Building of the Legislative Assembly of RP Vázquez, 1979-81); a renewed trend towards the monumental emerged which also influenced, in the 1980s, the intense private initiative (Perisur shopping center by J. Sordo Madaleno and JA Wiechers, 1981; Tamayo Museum by T. González de León and A. Zabludovsky, Città of Mexico, 1981; Central Library of PR Vázquez, Toluca, 1984-86).

In the 1990s, various architectural languages ​​found expression, some prosecutors of the modernist line or of the Hispanic and neo-Zapotec neo-colonial line, others representative of a technological direction of international derivation, called mex-tech, local version of high-tech of European origin (TEN Arquitectos: National Theater School of Churubusco, in the Ciudad de Las Artes, 1995; Parque España apartment building, 2001 etc., in Mexico City). Alongside the new generations, the activity of people who have already been active for some time continues: the neomodernist works of A. Zabludovsky (theaters of Guanajuato and Aguascalientes, 1994) and those of T. González de León (Torre Arcos Bosques Corporativo, Mexico City, 1997) or the brightly colored works of R. Legorreta, continuer of the teaching of L. Barragán. Also noteworthy: the Theater of the Arts (1998) by A. López Baz and J. Calleja (LBC Arquitectos) or the Arcos Bosques Corporation complex, by T. González de Léon (2003), in Mexico City.

In painting since the 1970s, the example of F. Kahl o constitutes a model for artists such as NB Zenil; stimulating presences are those of C. Merida, born in Guatemala; Mexico Goeritz, of Austrian origin, forerunner of the primary Structures. Sebastián creates geometric abstract sculptures; create installations Mexico Paláu and H. Escobedo. Also worthy of mention are the painters F. Toledo, R. von Gunten and the younger G. Orozco; the sculptures of P. Cervantes; the shares of S. Serra.

Mexico Arts and Architecture

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