III

Narratives of African American Art and Identity

Hale Woodruff

Two Figures in a Mexican Landscape, c. 1934

Oil on canvas

22" x 18"


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Two Figures in a Mexican Landscape


In July of 1934, Hale Woodruff received a grant to travel to Mexico and study the work of the great Mexican muralists. Upon his arrival, Woodruff apprenticed himself to Diego Rivera and assisted him with the preparation of colors, the transferal of his figurative cartoons to the wall, and other necessities while Rivera painted his famous Hotel Reforma mural in Mexico City. Woodruff, like many other African American artists, admired the social and historical significance of Mexican murals and hoped that his experience would assist him not only in learning how to create murals but also in enhancing his work as an artist.

Although Woodruff traveled to Mexico to enhance his technique, it remains unclear whether Woodruff painted Two Figures in a Mexican Landscape while he was in Mexico; however, the work's reference to Mexico's unique landscape and architecture is clear.   T. F.

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