Philip Guston’s 1935 Mural “The Inquisition” Undergoes Restoration in Morelia, Mexico
Hidden for almost 40 years after its creation in 1935, “The Inquisition (also known as “The Struggle against War and Terror”), a 1024 square foot mural by renowned artists Philip Guston and Reuben Kadish, will undergo restoration and shared with the world.
The mural’s rejuvenation was prompted after New York artist Leah Poller received a private viewing of the painting and was awestruck with its beauty and cultural significance. Following this private showing, Poller dedicated 10 years to bringing attention to this major work, which is finally undergoing restoration under the auspices of INAH (Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia, Mexico City).
“I realized that the cultural and historical importance of this work would need a concerted US-Mexican effort to return it to its true place in contemporary art history. Seriously damaged over time, and with many mysteries remaining to be solved, I joined forces with fellow sculptor and renowned Mexican cultural activist Arquitecto Arturo Macias to create IACI, Inc. (Intercambio de Arte y Cultura Internacionale AC), and we began a program to re-acquaint both Mexico and the US with this outstanding work,” states Poller.”
Mexico is known throughout art history for their amazing muralists and the impact their works have had on the world. Although a famous Mexican artist did not paint this mural, “The Inquisition” still holds huge historical importance within Mexico’s art history.
Renowned Mexican mural historian Gregorio Luke concludes, “The presence of Diego Rivera, Jose Clemente Orozco and David Siqueiros in the U.S. is well known; what has been less studied is the work of American artists during that period in Mexico…”The Inquisition” is one of largest and most important murals created in Latin America by American artists. But in a larger sense, it is an example of the dialogue that existed between American and Latin American artists in the 20th century. Simply stated: this is a work that cannot be ignored because it changes the interpretation of art in the Americas.”