Diego Rivera, 1886-1957: A Revolutionary Spirit in Modern Art (Taschen Basic Art)
Diego Rivera - A revolutionary and troublemaker It was as a revolutionary and troublemaker that Picasso, Dall and Andre Breton described the husband of Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera, but he was also responsible for creating a public art that was both highly advanced and profoundly accessible. From 1910 Rivera lived in Europe where he absorbed the influence of Cubism. After the Mexican revolution, however, he returned to his homeland and harnessed the lessons of the European avant-garde to the needs of the Mexican people. His own murals, and those of the Mexican Muralists who followed his example, presented a utopian vision of a post-revolutionary Mexico. Rivera's historical paintings expressed his interpretation of the revolution and its ideals, in a style that showed him returning to the pre-Columbian roots of Mexican culture, re-inventing a colourfully realistic visual idiom that could appeal directly to a largely illiterate people. This is the first study which, independently of the exhibition circuit, coherently presents the work of this extraordinary artist.
Rivera by Andrea Kettnmann
By Sharon J. Upp - February 20, 2009
Rivera by Andrea Kettenmann is a wonderful collection of reproductions of Rivera's work alongside biographical information, including photographs. Speaking of his apprentice years in Europe Kettenmann quotes him, saying, "The age of twenty is simply ridiculous, even when you're talking of Genghis Khan or Napolean." Rivera on board a ship says, "bawling out passages of Zarathustra in the face of the profound and melancholy silence of the ocean, is the most pathetic and kitchy thing I know. That was me." This quote is opposite the painting "House over the Bridge" done in Bruges in 1909 when he was young, bombastic and self-consciously intellectual. It is little known that the original drawing was done by his first wife Angeline Beloff(according to her memoir "Memorias") whose life is vividly depicted in "House on the Bridge: Ten Turbulent Years with Diego Rivera" (also available on Amazon.com.) I recommend both books highly.
By R. Albin - June 1, 2008
This concise book is a solid introduction to Diego Rivera. The text is a concise biography concentrating on his artistic career. There are abundant images showing his work across the whole length of his long and productive career. The images concentrate on his many important murals but there is a good selection of his other work. An important point, though it really emerges implicitly, is the eclectic nature of Rivera's influences. Rivera had rigorous classical training as a young man, had a modernist-cubist phase, was apparently influenced by Italian Renaissance fresco painting, and had a tremendous interest in Pre-Columbian art. I would have liked to read some more formal art criticism. For example, there are several comments on the influence of Renaissance fresco painting but we never see any specific examples. Image reproduction quality is good but the book is relatively small, which makes the murals look 'busy.' Still, as a short introduction, this is a very good effort.
By Ann B. Keller "Ann B. Keller" - January 14, 2012
Artist Diego Rivera was born at the end of the nineteenth century and grew up in a time when the world was changing by leaps and bounds. He was repeatedly caught up in political intrigue around the world and featured some of these revolutionaries in his painting. Rivera also embraced a rare dedication to realism in his work.
Rivera painted the everyday man with honor and respect. In his hands, the peasant woman nursing her child, the worker chiseling at a wall, woman carrying baskets of fruit to market, nun working in the vines, men and women gathering corn in a field or celebrating a feast all became great works of art.
Rivera's painting of the Great City of Tenochtitlan is stunning. Painted in 1945, this impressive work shows the market place of the Aztec city, alight with the colors of the day. Other frescoes painted in San Francisco highlight the promises of wealth in the new world.
Diego Rivera's painting reflects the time at which he lived,... read more