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Fragile Demon:
Juan Soriano in Mexico, 1935 to 1950 (Philadelphia Museum of Art)

by Edward J. Sullivan, Carlos Fuentes, Octavio Paz

ISBN 0300136889 / 9780300136883 / 0-300-13688-9
Publisher Yale University Press
Language English
Edition Softcover
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Book summary

One of Mexicos most important modern artists, Juan Soriano (1920–2006) served as a link between the nationalist imagery of the Mexican muralists and the experimental vanguard of the 1950s and 1960s known as “La Ruptura. This fascinating book, which examines the earliest period of Sorianos career, is the first focused, critical study of him in English.


Opening with texts on Soriano by the artists friends and colleagues Octavio Paz and Carlos Fuentes (appearing here for the first time in English), the book places Sorianos work within the context of Mexican painting during this vibrant and transitional moment. In his essay, Edward Sullivan examines the parallels between paintings by Soriano and those of other modernists from Europe and the United States. He also analyzes the continuity within Sorianos paintings of certain Mexican pictorial traditions while simultaneously emphasizing the importance of his conscious rejection of folkloric elements sometimes associated with Mexican modern art.