María Izquierdo

María Izquierdo is known for being the first Mexican woman to have her artwork exhibited in the United States. She committed both her life and her career to painting art that displayed her Mexican roots and held her own among famous (an important figure in mexicanismo) Mexican male artists: Diego Rivera, José Clemente Orozco, and David Alfaro Siqueiros. Early on, Izquierdo established herself as a painter of still lifes, altars, circus scenes, and portraits of women. Making it a point to tie her art with Mexican popular tradition, Izquierdo pushed back from what many of her peers at Escuela Nacional de Bellas Artes (Academy of Fine Arts) were doing. Instead of painting political messages, she painted images that held personal meaning and was rooted in Mexican traditions. Even though she was a female Mexican artist who painted near the same time as feminist Latin American painters, Remedios Varo, and Leonora Carrington, Izquierdo did not identify herself as a feminist. Maria criticized feminism and “pseudo-intellectual” women stating that “they think that bragging out loud makes them better [than men], but deep inside they are still full of old prejudices and are just covering up with theatrical attitudes for their inferiority complex.

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