This print is from one of the TGP artists. Likely done in the 1950's. Pencil signed by Leopoldo Mendez. In fairly good condition. About 20" x 26" (50cm. x 65cm.). This work is nearly impossible to find, and is being collected by the Smithsonian, The University of Arizona Museum of Art, The Art Institute Chicago, and other similarly important institutions.
The Taller de Gráfica Popular (The People’s Print Workshop), commonly known as the TGP, was established in Mexico City in 1937 by artists Leopoldo Méndez (1902–1968), Luis Arenal (1908–1985), Raúl Anguiano (1915–2006), and Pablo O’Higgins (1904–1983). The TGP was a collective center for the creation of sociopolitical art. Sharing the post-revolutionary idealism of the Mexican muralists, the TGP aimed to reach a broad audience, primarily through the dissemination of inexpensive wood- and linoleum-block prints. The group’s declaration of principles announced, “The TGP believes that, in order to serve the people, art must reflect the social reality of the times and have unity in content and form.”
In an effort to be relevant to workers and their struggles, artists created works that were highly didactic. The workshop’s output, which included posters, prints, portfolios, and other illustrations, was enormous. Most of the works made in the 1930s and 1940s—the workshop’s heyday—expose the exploitation of the poor, attack the abuse of peasant rights, criticize the land-ownership system, and denounce European fascism and United States imperialism. A remarkable aspect of the TGP is that it was open to applicants from all social classes and occupations; it also included a number of foreign artists. The TGP earned international acclaim, which led to the creation of similar workshops throughout the world.
From the Art Institute Chicago:
The most influential and enduring progressive printmaking collective of its time, the Taller de Gráfica Popular (the Popular Graphic Art Workshop or TGP) created some of the most memorable images in mid-century printmaking. This Mexico City–based workshop took up the legacy of the famous Mexican broadside illustrator José Guadalupe Posada, creating prints, posters, and illustrated publications that were popular, affordable, legible, politically topical, and, above all, formally compelling. This exhibition includes over 100 works from the Art Institute’s rich holdings—one of the most significant TGP collections in the United States—demonstrating why this collective boasted such international influence and inspired the establishment of print collectives around the world.
Founded in 1937 by Leopoldo Méndez, Luis Arenal, and American-born Pablo O’Higgins, the TGP emerged and evolved in the crucible of antifascist and leftist politics in Mexico in the period surrounding World War II. This milieu shaped not only the workshop’s dedication to a collective printmaking model but also its production aimed at both “the people” and discerning collectors, a strategy necessitated by the era’s quickly changing political tides. The collective created works for groups spanning the leftist and progressive political spectrum, including the government of Lázaro Cárdenas and his successors, the Mexican Communist Party, major trade unions, and antifascist organizations.
During the TGP’s heyday, from its founding until the 1950s, the workshop produced thousands of prints, primarily linocuts and lithographs, for everything from ephemeral handbills and newspapers to political and advertising posters to luxe portfolios and printed books. Favoring an expressive, realist visual language, its work addressed a wide range of socially engaged themes, including Mexican history and culture, political satires both local and international (including calavera broadsides), rural and urban scenes of daily life, and agitprop prints. The members of the workshop, a core of about 40 during its height, produced both individual and collective works and welcomed numbers of foreign members and guest artists—from Elizabeth Catlett to Josef Albers—to use the workshop in order to collaborate on prints and create individual pieces.