Art on Display
Guatemalan, 1891–1985Reproductions from his screenprint portfolio Mexican Costume, 1941 Brooklyn Museum Libraries and Archives© 2019 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / SOMAAP, Mexico City
Reproductions from his screenprint portfolioTrajes regionales mexicanos, 1945 Brooklyn Museum Libraries and Archives© 2019 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / SOMAAP, Mexico City
As a young man, Carlos Mérida spent four years in Paris, where he met and was influenced by avant-garde artists such as Pablo Picasso and Amedeo Modigliani. In 1919, drawn by the social and artistic revolution in Mexico, he moved to Mexico City, where he met Kahlo and Rivera and worked as a mural assistant to Rivera, later going on to a career that encompassed abstract and figurative works.
These plates are from two of his print portfolios documenting and celebrating the variety of clothing worn by people from cultures across Mexico, including the Tehuana style Kahlo favored. The graphic shapes and bold colors he uses to describe these traditional garments demonstrate Mérida’s interest in combining Indigenous subjects with the pictorial strategies of European modernism.