Regreso al polvo (Return to dust)

  • Artist: Alfonso López Monreal
  • Year: 1997
September, 1997

ALFONSO LÓPEZ MONREAL: Paradoxes and Labyrinths
Edward J. Sullivan

Diego Rivera re-fashioned the rationalism of the Parisian art he encountered in his early years, infusing it with a recognizably Mexican sensibility in terms of color and subject matter. In the 1890s Julio Ruelas had been able to imbue the Symbolism that he encountered in Germany with a sensibility more attuned to the macabre fantasies of José Guadalupe Posada, and later, in the 1930s, Rufino Tamayo fashioned a style that was intimately personal based, in par, in the new forms of modernism he observed in the work of his New York artist friends. In the case of Alfonso López Monreal, the encounter with the "foreign" proved to be an experience much less inimical to the sensibilities which had nurtured him in his native Zacatecas. Monreal came to maturity as both painter and print maker in Ireland, a country whose aesthetic (if not climatic) conditions share much in common with those of Mexico. In Irish literature, and visual art, there has always been very much of an appreciation for metaphor and symbolic vocabulary - something which is true of Mexico as well. Sensitivity to myth, parable and legend is inherent in the aesthetic fiber of both Ireland and Mexico. Monreal has tapped into this rich source and created works that articulate (metaphorically speaking) points held in common by both nations. His most recent works have grown in size and boldness and statement. He employs in these canvases many of the same devices that we have seen before. 


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