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Luis Arenal
[1908-1985]
Born 1908 in Mexico City; Arenal and his family moved to Aguascalientes when he was a child. After his father died while fighting in the revolutionary armies, he returned to Mexico City with his mother.
He attended a parochial school from which he was expelled at the age of 13 for reading gay literature. He studied mechanical engineering for two years, moved to Los Angeles, where he earned his living washing gasoline cans while at the same time studying architecture.
below left: Boy playing marbles, 1945.          below right: Pogrom, 1938.
1926: Returned to Mexico; worked as a translator in an advertising office. 1927-28: studied law and sculpture. 1929: General studies at the University of Arizona, while working in restaurants. 1930: began to paint seriously and held exhibitions in Laguna Beach, Los Angeles, Redlands and San Bernardino, California. With the arrival of Siqueiros in Los Angeles in 1932, Arenal undertook the study of fresco painting and worked with him on the mural paintings in the Chouinard Art School. Arenal began to work with members of the John Reed Club.
left: Zapatistas, 1948.
1933: returns to Mexico, where he served as General Secretary of the Mexican League Against War and Fascism. 1934-36: Member-Sponsor of L.E.A.R.; along with Roberto Berdecio, was a delegate to the first Congress of American Artists Against War and Fascism in New York, 1936. Remained in New York and painted frescoes in Bellevue Hospital, also exhibited his artwork. Returned to Mexico and with Leopoldo Méndez and others, founded T.G.P. in 1937. 1939: worked with David Alfaro Siqueiros, Antonio Pujol and Renau on mural in the building of the Electrical Workers' Union, Mexico City. 1940-1943: travelled in South America. 1944-1945: executed two sculptures which form a unit with a mural painting by Siqueiros in the building occupied by the Center of Modern Art in Mexico City -- one sculpture is stone, the other concrete. 1946-1947: worked on the construction of roads, bridges and houses in the state of Guerrero; Made a monument in Cuetzala, Guerrero. Married Macrina Rabadan, Mexican teacher, organizer of the Peasant Leagues in the state of Guerrero, and a leader of the feminist movement. They have two children. 1948: mural on masonite sheets for a rural school in Arcalia, Guerrero. Arenal took park in all collective exhibitions of the T.G.P.