FOR MANY, MEXICAN MODERN ART consists of the spectacular murals created from the ’20s on, first in Mexico, and later in the United States and other countries, by a handful of artists of whom Diego Rivera, José Clemente Orozco, and David Alfaro Siqueiros are the best known. But while mural painting may be Mexico’s most original contribution to Modern art, its birth was preceded and stimulated by important though neglected artistic activities—most notably, the workings of the group that called itself the Stridentists. This neglect on the part of art history can perhaps be attributed to the literary—as opposed to the plastic—roots of some of the leading figures of Stridentism, whose barely known work is elemental for any deep understanding of developments in Mexican art during the ’20s. Many of the Stridentists also felt that their reputations suffered at the hands of the muralists, despite

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