The Secret Artist: Melecio Galván,
Master Mexican Draftsman
March 16, 2024
August 4, 2024
About the Exhibit
Despite his tremendous talent, Mexican draftsman Melecio Galván (San Rafael, Mexico, 1945–1982) was little-known during his lifetime. At a comprehensive retrospective of his work at Mexico City’s Palacio de Bellas Artes in 1983, renowned art historian Ida Rodríguez Prampolini asserted: “Galván left us an exceptional body of work which, had he promoted it, would have converted him into the most important draftsman in the country.”
This exhibition spotlights a recent acquisition of 41 drawings by this “secret artist.” Now the U.S museum with the largest collection of Galván’s works (47 diverse drawings), the Blanton presents the first exhibition ever dedicated to this artist in the country. It explores Galván’s drawings in all of their formulations: from swift preparatory sketches to detailed renderings; from tender scenes of mother and child, to dynamic men on horseback or trios of violinists playing silently together. To contextualize the maestro’s practice among his Mexican contemporaries, the exhibition also features works by artists such as Arnold Belkin, Rafael Coronel, Elvira Gascón, Silvia Pardo, Arturo Pastraña Vásquez, and Rufino Tamayo, as well as by José Luis Cuevas, who was a great inspiration for Galván. Featuring artworks never before exhibited, this show spotlights an under-recognized artist whose mastery merits far wider recognition.
Curated by Vanessa Davidson, Curator of Latin American Art, Blanton Museum of Art.
Thanks are due to Amaranta Galván Jiménez, Guardian of the Colección Melecio Galván, Mexico City, and to CENIDIAP (The National Center for Research, Documentation, and Information on the Visual Arts) and the DGCPIU (The General Directorate of Popular, Indigenous, and Urban Cultures of the Ministry of Culture of Mexico), for their invaluable research assistance.
Members get free admission.
The Secret Artist: Melecio Galván, Master Mexican Draftsman is organized by the Blanton
Museum of Art.
Support for this exhibition at the Blanton is provided in part by Ellen and David Berman.
Feature Image Credit
Melecio Galván (San Rafael, Mexico, 1945–Chalco, Mexico, 1982), Sin título [Untitled] (detail), circa 1970, ink on paper, 25 1/2 × 20 in. (64.8 × 50.8 cm); Blanton Museum of Art, The University of Texas at Austin, Gift of Jeffrey B. Gold, 2022.279.a-b © Melecio Galván Sánchez