The Slave from Siqueiros: 13 Grabados

Maker and role
Artist: David Alfaro Siqueiros, Mexican, 1896-1974
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Object detail

sheet, 9 1/4 x 7in (23.5 x 17.8cm)
Credit line
Museum purchase with the Rio Grande Fund of the San Antonio Area Foundation in memory of Mary Alyce Corrigan
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Object type
Further information
One of the most re-told stories encountered in the annals of Mexican art history is that of the American architect and silversmith, William Spratling, supplying his friend, the Mexican painter and printmaker David Alfaro Siqueiros, with printmaking supplies while the artist was imprisoned for his sometimes violent political activism. This woodcut series is the fruit of that famous assistance.

Spratling arrived in the Mexican hill town of Taxco in 1929. He soon became a major figure in the rebirth of the Mexican silversmith industry. In 1930, Siqueiros was exiled from Mexico City to provincial Taxco’s prison. The silversmith and the artist/activist soon became friends and Spratling did indeed provide Siqueiros with woodblocks, ink, and paper to produce the present portfolio with Siqueiros’ impressions of life in prison. The foreword was written by Spratling in English and Spanish.

The collaboration between Spratling and Siqueiros eventually led to Spratling introducing the artist to influential American print dealer Carl Zigrosser. Zigrosser, director of the Weyhe Gallery in New York City, would later publish many of Siqueiros’ most important prints.


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