Mexico City – The National Fine Arts Institute, or INBA, is celebrating its 65th anniversary with an exhibition in Mexico City showing the best of its treasures, including works by Frida Kahlo, Rufino Tamayo and Saturnino Herran.
The exhibition, "Foundations. 65 years of INBA: Bequests, Donations and Acquisitions," runs until Aug. 21 at the Museum of the Palace of Fine Arts and is made up of 254 pieces created by 97 Mexican and foreign artists since the 17th century.
The exhibition, which was inaugurated Monday night by President Felipe Calderon, displays paintings, sculptures, drawings, installations, videos and textiles, pop art, engravings, watercolors and photographs.
This review of INBA treasures will inspire the public to reflect on the preservation of Mexico's artistic heritage and the role that government plays in art and culture, exhibit curator Ana Garduño told Efe.
"With its founding (in 1946), INBA took on the responsibility of enriching and protecting Mexico's cultural assets, and today's exhibition is a demonstration of that commitment," Garduño said.
Works by such Mexican artists as Manuel Felguerez, Francisco Zuñiga, Francisco Toledo, Frida Kahlo and Rufino Tamayo are on view at the exhibition, together with those by the Belgian Francis Alÿs, Spain's Francisco Clapera, and Wolfgang Tillmans of Germany.
Contemporary artists are also represented including Carlos Amorales, Teresa Margolles, Pedro Reyes and Pablo Vargas Lugo, who were selected for the exhibition because their works "complement and interact" with the productions of their famed predecessors, Garduño said.
About 65 percent of the pieces on show were acquired in 2010 with funds approved by Congress to implement a plan created by Consuelo Saizar, president of the National Culture and Arts Council, or Conaculta.
An investment of $8.6 million made possible the acquisition of some 2,200 pieces that include both individual works of art and three funds - the Ricardo Perez Escamilla graphic fund, the Jose Guadalupe Posada fund and the Xavier Villaurrutia fund.
Also provided was an advance for purchasing the house of Mexican artist Juan O'Gorman (1905-1982), located beside the House-Studio Museum of Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo in Mexico City.
Complementing the show is a catalogue that includes essays on institutional collecting, acquisition policies and restoring the treasures of Mexico's heritage.
"We have the basis, the foundation, now we must look to the present and future to define how we want to grow, which museums need strengthening, and what pieces by which artists we want to have."