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David Alfaro Siqueiros

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David Alfaro Siqueiros
20th century
(Santa Rosalía (now Ciudad Camargo), Chihuahua, 1896 - 1974, Cuernavaca)

Born 1896, Santa Rosalía (now Ciudad Camargo), Chihuahua; active 1919–22, Barcelona, Spain, and Paris, France; 1922–32, Mexico City; 1932–33, Los Angeles; 1933–34, Buenos Aires, Argentina; 1934–37, New York; 1937–39, Spain and Paris; 1939-–74, Mexico City; died 1974, Cuernavaca, Mexico Siqueiros moved to Mexico City in 1905 and was educated as an artist at the Academy of San Carlos and the Escuela de Pintura al Aire Libre de Santa Anita. He took part in the Mexican Revolution, fighting under General Venustiano Carranza in 1914 and later with General Manuel Diegez. He contributed to the Carranzista journal, La vanguardia, in 1914-15 and was sent by the Carranza administration to Europe in 1919. While travelling in Europe between 1919 and 1921, Siqueiros learned the fresco technique of painting, met Diego Rivera, and formulated ideas on a monumental public art form for Mexico. When he returned to Mexico in 1922 he joined the Syndicate of Technical Workers, Painters and Sculptors and the Communist Party. Along with the muralists Rivera and Xavier Guerrero, Siqueiros edited and illustrated the Syndicate's newspaper, El machete. Between 1922 and 1924 he also worked on murals for the National Preparatory School in Mexico City. It was Siqueiros who published a muralist manifesto setting out the ideology of the artists involved in the mural movement of the 1920s. He left Mexico City before finishing the Preparatory School murals and spent 1925-1930 travelling and organizing labor unions in Mexico. From 1930 on he was repeatedly imprisoned for his political activities. He executed murals in the U.S. in the 1930s, travelled in South America on lecture tours, and opened an Experimental Workshop for artists in New York in 1935-36. In 1929, Siqueiros participated in the First Group Exibition of Mexican Engravers organized by Fernando Leal in the Pasaje America in Mexico City. It is known that he worked on lithographic technique in Taxco, Guerrero. He executed more lithographic prints in 1943-44 as a guest artist at the Taller de Gráfica Popular.

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