Published by RM/BBVA. Text by Juan Villoro, Mercurio López, Helia Bonilla, Montserrat Gali, Rafael Barajas.
To celebrate the 100th anniversary of Posada’s death, A Century of Skeletons collects nearly 1,000 reproductions of original prints, including dozens of engravings never before published. Over the last century, Posada’s satirical illustrations with their signature "calaveras," or skeletons, have become synonymous with the imagery of Mexico’s Day of the Dead celebrations. Often guised in various costumes, such as the Calavera de la Catrina, the "Skull of the Female Dandy," Posada’s Calaveras also satirized the lifestyle of the Mexican upper classes during the reign of Porfirio Díaz. His prints and lithographs utilize a distinctive blend of black, white and middle tones and his works in type metal, zinc and wood make dramatic use of proportion and disproportion. Reflecting on various aspects of Posada’s life and work, this volume contains essays by Juan Villoro, Helia Bonilla, Monserrat Galí and Rafael Barajas, as well as a study by Mercurio López that organizes a significant part of Posada’s work chronologically, and with regard to the printmaking techniques employed. It also includes two complementary sections: one examining the technical transition from lead to zinc in engraving and a second giving examples of the iconographical sources for Posada’s work. José Guadalupe Posada (1852-1913) studied lithography as a young man and opened a commercial print shop in the 1870s, focusing on advertising, book illustration and broadsides. After the shop was destroyed in a flood, Posada relocated to Mexico City and began moving toward cheaper methods of printmaking. It was there that Posada began contributing his satirical cartoons to news flyers and periodicals, using his adept imagery to communicate with a largely illiterate public. Though he died virtually unknown, Posada has been acknowledged by Diego Rivera and José Clemente Orozco as the godfather of modern Mexican art.
The second half of the nineteenth century was, famously, a golden age for children's literature-in Mexico as well as in North America and Europe. José Guadalupe Posada (1851-1913) and Manuel Manilla (1839-1895) are the two leading icons of children's illustration in Mexico, and together they developed a huge body of engravings and illustrations for cheap, ephemeral, "penny press" collections of Mexican fairy tales. In the early part of the last century, these fragile publications-once so ubiquitous and loved-received scant attention, until they were brought to a wider audience in the 1930s by the French artist Jean Charlot (who encountered them while visiting Diego Rivera). Published on the 100th anniversary of Posada's death, Illustrations for Mexican Fairy Tales gathers these vibrantly colorful works by both artists for the first time, many of which were done for the famous Mexican penny press publisher Antonio Vanegas Arroyo. Affordably priced, and with a wealth of color reproductions throughout, this extremely giftworthy collection includes a facsimile reprint of one of Posada's most beautiful and acclaimed booklets as well as an essay by the respected curator, collector and writer Mercurio Lopez Casillas.
Published by RM. Introduction by Frances Toor. Text by Diego Rivera.
Originally published in 1930, Posada: Monografía is a facsimile edition of the first monograph of the great Mexican illustrator and engraver José Guadalupe Posada (1852-1913). Reprinted to coincide with the 100th anniversary of his death, reproduces more than 400 of the most iconic prints from Posada’s vast output, collected by Pablo O’Higgins from those that could be located and identified at the time. Posada and Manuel Manilla--a talented engraver who greatly influenced Posada--were the two artists of their day who best interpreted the lives and social attitudes of Mexican people. Posada, in particular, is in the great tradition of illustrators who double as political and social commentators (a tradition that also includes Aubrey Beardsley and Honoré Daumier). The images of the high-spirited, at times macabre broadsheets reproduced in Posada: Monografía include the famous calaveras, or skeleton creatures, along with illustrations for songs, corridos (traditional ballads) and religious prayers. The skeletons in the barrios were a metaphor for a corrupt society; Posada supplemented his black humor with lampoons of venal politicians, and, not surprisingly, was jailed on several occasions for his transgressions. With their striking visual qualities, his ingenious images did much to enrich the tradition of the popular Mexican print. Posada: Monografía also includes an introduction by Frances Toor, the legendary editor of Mexican Folkways magazine, and an essay by Diego Rivera.