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Arts of Mexico, Central and South America, the Caribbean

Works of art from Mexico, Central and South America, and the Caribbean range from ancient cultures to cutting-edge artists of today. Among the highlights are the Glassell Collection of Pre-Columbian Gold and the museum’s growing collection of modern and contemporary art by Latin American and Latino artists.

© 2010 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / SOMAAP, Mexico City
Mexican, 1896 - 1974
Cara de niño (Concentración)
Concentration (Head of a Boy)
Piroxylene on Masonite

27 ½ x 24 inches

The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

Museum purchase with funds provided by the
Agnes Cullen Arnold Accessions Endowment Fund

Arts of Mexico, Central and South America, the Caribbean

The great Mexican muralist David Alfaro Siqueiros spent the period between 1933 and 1939 committed to the eradication of war and fascism through powerful works such as The Birth of Fascism and the iconic Echo of a Scream. By 1939, though, his work became less politically strident and more personal, perhaps even more psychologically driven, as is evident here. Concentration (Head of a Boy) belongs to a group of more than 17 paintings that were exhibited at the Pierre Matisse Gallery in New York City in 1940 at the urging of Siqueiros's longtime friend and dealer Inés Amor. Many of the paintings in the exhibition focused on Siqueiros's return to the use of human gestures to symbolize tragedy or loss. Tightly composed images of heads tilted downward, hands clenched, and brows furrowed all reveal a quietly radical shift by Siqueiros from the political to the emotional.