David Alfaro Siqueiros, ‘Canto General - image B’, 1968, MLA Gallery


Like the stark monochromatic imagery of Francisco Goya’s prints and drawings, which profoundly influenced the work of David Alfar Siqueiros, Canto General 9 depicts a scene that is lively and dreamlike despite its unsettling characteristics. Here, a face is discernible amidst the violent, gestural strokes demarcating the landscape and sky. The work belongs to the Canto General series, in which Siqueiros illustrates the famous book of poems by the same name, penned by his friend, Chilean poet Pablo Neruda.

Mexican Social Realist painter David Alfaro Siqueiros was a key figure in the establishment of Mexican Muralism, which he championed alongside Diego Rivera and José Clemente Orozco. A political organizer too, Siqueiros was active as a member of the Communist party, and his large-scale frescos depict events and changes in the social, political, and industrial arenas from a decidedly leftist angle.

Siqueiros’s activism dates back to his collegiate experience during the Mexican Revolution of 1910 when he participated in and led student strikes. During the ensuing decades of the ’20s and ’30s, he was jailed often for his political participation and often painted the suffering of prison life. For Siqueiros, art and politics were innately intertwined, and he continued to paint politically charged murals throughout this time, including his most well known, Los Mitos (The Myths), at the National Preparatory School.

Following this era of upheaval in Mexico, Siqueiros spent time in both New York and Spain, where he not only fought against Fascism (anti-Fascist themes are present throughout Siqueiros’s oeuvre), but where he also encountered the disturbing imagery of Spanish master Francisco Goya, who had a profound influence on Siqueiros’s artistic vision. In 1940, motivated by Communist sympathies and a deep devotion to Stalin, Siqueiros headed up an attack on the Mexican home of Leon Trotsky, who had been granted asylum in the country. Later, during the Vietnam War, Siqueiros was vocal about his opposition to American involvement in the situation, and he was also vehement in his support for Fidel Castro’s Cuban government. Siqueiros died in the Mexican city of Cuernavaca in 1974.

Please inquire. We have two more images from this suite available in immaculate condition.

Signature: signed lower right. Numbered 38/200 lower left.

Publisher: Atelier Mourlot, Paris

acquired from a substantial East Coast collector.

About David Alfaro Siqueiros

David Alfaro Siqueiros was a leading figure in the Mexican school of great mural painters, alongside José Clemente Orozco and Diego Rivera. Siqueiros was wildly prolific in his career; his work often featured social and political subjects, and demonstrated his influences, including Francisco Goya, religious art, and Italian Futurism. Siqueiros’ works are distinguished for their use of dynamic perspective, monumental forms, dramatic use of shadow, and a limited color palette. In addition to painting, Siqueiros was an avid political activist with a tumultuous personal history; he once led a student strike against San Carlos Academy, and his more violent activities landed him in jail and, eventually, exile.

Mexican, 1896-1974, Santa Rosalía de Camargo, Mexico

Group Shows

Philadelphia Museum of Art, 
Philadelphia, PA, USA,
Mexico and Modern Printmaking, Revolution in the Graphic Arts 1920-1950

Fair History on Artsy

Artlammco at Art Miami 2015