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El Taller de Gráfica Popular
by Michael T. Ricker
part 1 || part 2 || part 3 || part 4 || Volantes populares

TGP today

Over the years, the freshness and power of the cartele diminished. With a more stable political situation (and at times, a less tolerant administration), and at least the most rudimentary human needs being met, the carteles' place has been usurped. The need for literacy, so intensely fought for, has been displaced ironically by the communication mediums for which literacy is, at best, only a marginal requirement. The advent of television and proliferation of radio stations has made the use of carteles and volantes virtually obsolete. On the streets of Mexico City, where once volantes and carteles drew crowds on every corner, one now finds only movie posters displayed à la Warhol in repetitive rows and columns. What good is a public means of communication that takes a day or more to disseminate when radio and TV can bring news to you mere moments after the event takes place?

What the publications of the Taller de Gráfica Popular will always possess is a powerful, if politically slanted, view of the events of the day. Just like Posada's work from the turn of the Twentieth century, the taller's work will stand as a distinct representation of a period of time in Mexican history. Profound, forceful, and occasionally humorous, the work will provide future generations with a glimpse, not only into history, but into the process and practice of the dissemination of public information and propaganda.


Taller de Gráfica Popular may be translated as the Workshop for Popular Graphics (or graphic art), but it is also correct, and perhaps more in keeping with the politics of its founders and members in the late 1930s, to call it the People's Graphic Workshop.
Compare the watercolor study, [below left] probably by Alberto Beltrán, with the finished poster [below right].
part 1 Posada volante, Calaveras del Monton
Organo de los Pintores
Viva 30-30
1929 woodcut exhibition announcement
part 2LEAR
cover for Federico Garcia Lorca poetry anthology
woodcut by José Chávez Morado
Front to Front cover
cover of a night school textbook for workers
20th anniversary poster (1957)
part 3Volantes
Posada: El mosquito Americano
Méndez: ...raise the consciousness of the people..., lithograph c. 1937
Beltrán: Corrido del Congreso de la Paz
Méndez Paremos...
Méndez Worker and Peasant Unity
Chávez Morado: Cubiertos
Méndez Los Transviarios Luchan...

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©2002 Michael T. Ricker