The exhibit Pintando: Colors of Education opens May 3 in the 9th Floor Exhibit Hall at the Harold Washington Library Center. It features over 40 paintings by Mexican artists commissioned by the National Commission of Free Textbooks, known in Spanish as La Comisión Nacional de Libros de Texto Gratuitos (CONALITEG). These works of art were specifically created to adorn the covers of school books for two generations (1960-1970 and 1987-1992).
Martín Luis Guzmán, president of CONALITEG, commissioned artists from 1960 to 1970 to represent the historical heroes and symbols of an independent Mexico. Included in this group is La Patria (Homeland) by Jorge González Camarena (1908-1980). Students in grammar school during this period will remember this artwork as the image of their textbooks.
In 1987, Javier Wimer, general director of the National Commission, conducted an open call for a broad group of artists, including many plastics artists who created playful motifs that closely resembled the experiences of classrooms. Mexican art, between both generations, represented the Mexican School of Art, Muralism, the Rupture Generation and conceptual art including Abstractionism.
This collection of artwork exemplifies the importance of Mexican public education and created an album of memories for several generations of Mexicans. The exhibit will run through July 31, 2018.
This exhibition is being provided through a collaboration among the National Commission of Free Textbooks, the Mexican Consulate of Chicago and the Chicago Public Library.
There will be a tour of the Pintando exhibit and Mexican art at Harold Washington Library Center on Thursday, June 28 at 6 p.m. The tour will begin in the 9th Floor Special Collections Exhibit Hall.