New Perspectives Talk: Leopoldo Méndez

April 23, 2022
11 am

Leopoldo Méndez, Printmaking as Form, and the Collective Processes of the Taller de Gráfica Popular

The Kemper Art Museum’s permanent collection holds four works by the Mexican artist Leopoldo Méndez, all prints made from wood engravings and dating from the 1940s. While the formal qualities of these prints are striking on their own terms, this talk by Lauris McQuoid-Greason approaches these works with a focus on the relationship between printmaking as form and the collective processes of art-making employed by Méndez, especially in his founding of the Taller de Gráfica Popular. The "People’s Print Shop," founded in 1937 in Mexico City and most active during the two decades that followed, produced a large quantity of work with a collective, democratic, and sometimes anonymous approach to art-making that centered popular leftist struggles in both its content and process. The talk will also consider the transnational circulations and connections of the Taller and the broader transnational flows of printmaking as a popular form of artistic production employed in many emancipatory social movements throughout history.

Following the talk, a 90-minute hands-on printmaking workshop will explore linocut techniques. The workshop is limited to 25 participants, and registration is required. Learn more >>

New Perspectives

New Perspectives talks are opportunities to learn more about the Museum’s collection from emerging scholars. The talks are given by graduate students in Arts & Sciences and the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts and focus on one or more works from the collection, often aligning with the students’ own expertise and scholarly interests.

About the speaker

Lauris McQuoid-Greason is a PhD candidate in Hispanic studies at Washington University in St. Louis. Her long-term research interests have focused on the social nature of contemporary Latin American cultural production, with an emphasis on Mexico and the Southern Cone. She is currently at work on her dissertation on collaborative modes of literary and artistic production in 21st-century greater Mexico, an inherently interdisciplinary project located at the intersections of literary criticism, cultural studies, art theory, and art history. Lauris completed a BA in romance languages (Spanish and French) at the University of Maryland, College Park, and an MA in multilingual studies (Spanish and French) at Virginia Tech. She has several years of teaching experience, at both Washington University and Virginia Tech, in introductory and intermediate Spanish and French language and culture.

Image credit

Leopoldo Méndez (Mexican, 1902–1968), detail of La carta (I) (The Letter [I]), c. 1942. Wood engraving, 4 1/4 x 3 13/16". Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Irvin Dagen, 1983.