86 years ago the Taller de Gráfica Popular was founded, where the cause of art is social

During its heyday, the TGP specialized in linocuts and woodcuts.

The Taller de Gráfica Popular (TGP), a mythical Mexican collective of engravers, in 2023 celebrates 86 years of being founded thanks to the interest of artists such as Leopoldo Méndez, Pablo O’Higgins, Alfredo Zalce, Luis Arenal, Ignacio Aguirre, Isidoro Ocampo, Everardo Ramírez, Raúl Anguiano, Jesús Escobedo and Ángel Bracho. Over time others joined them.

The TGP was created after the dissolution of the Liga de Escritores y Artistas Revolucionarios (LEAR), which emerged in 1934. While the LEAR supported the causes of the Mexican Revolution, the purpose of the TGP was to use art to further its revolutionary social causes.

Preceded in 1936 by the Taller Editorial de Gráfica Popular, the founders of the TGP drew on a rich tradition of Mexican engraving, especially the legacy of José Guadalupe Posada and Manuel Manilla.

Hugo Covantes, in his book Mexican engraving in the 20th century, 1922-1981, writes that the favorable course that graphic reproduction techniques took in the 1930s, and the need to organize an ideological platform and a system of The diffusion of popular artists led to the creation of the TGP in 1937, whose purposes, broadly speaking, were formal renewal and freedom of investigation.

The TGP was constituted as a collective work center for the functional production and the study of the branches of engraving. From the beginning, his ideology was defined as progressive and democratic, with a very clear position against the fascist reaction.

Its declaration of principles stated: “Considering that the social purpose of plastic work is inseparable from its good artistic quality, the TGP strives to develop the individual technical capacities of its members.”

During the presidency of Lázaro Cárdenas (1934-1940), the work of the TGP supported government policies, including the Oil Expropriation.

In 1940, the muralist David Alfaro Siqueiros led an armed attack against the residence of Leon Trotsky, exiled from the Russian revolution. He used the TGP facilities to finalize details and a couple of artists were part of the squad.