Gráfica Popular

Gráfica Popular
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The Political Broadsheet: The Taller de Gráfica Popular

The Taller de Gráfica Popular (The People’s Print Workshop), commonly known as the TGP, was established in Mexico City in 1937 by artists Leopoldo Méndez (1902–1968), Luis Arenal (1908–1985), Raúl Anguiano (1915–2006), and Pablo O’Higgins (1904–1983). The TGP was a collective center for the creation of sociopolitical art. Sharing the post-revolutionary idealism of the Mexican muralists, the TGP aimed to reach a broad audience, primarily through the dissemination of inexpensive wood- and linoleum-block prints. The group’s declaration of principles announced, “The TGP believes that, in order to serve the people, art must reflect the social reality of the times and have unity in content and form.”

In an effort to be relevant to workers and their struggles, artists created works that were highly didactic. The workshop’s output, which included posters, prints, portfolios, and other illustrations, was enormous. Most of the works made in the 1930s and 1940s—the workshop’s heyday—expose the exploitation of the poor, attack the abuse of peasant rights, criticize the land-ownership system, and denounce European fascism and United States imperialism. A remarkable aspect of the TGP is that it was open to applicants from all social classes and occupations; it also included a number of foreign artists. The TGP earned international acclaim, which led to the creation of similar workshops throughout the world.

- Ilona Katzew, 2008