Letters, Apr. 25, 1949

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High-Low Diego

Sir:

TIME hits a new low [April 4] with so much space devoted to Diego Rivera. Even his leering likeness on your cover is more nauseous to my stomach (uncultured though it may be) than any amount of overripe duck! . . .

MARGUERITE BALLARD New Orleans, La.

Sir:

Congratulations on your Rivera article, on every phase of it, from cover to last paragraph . . .

You not only lured me, but you kept me reading, looking at the pictures, understanding them and their author, and appreciating what he means . . .

BILL ABLER New York City

Sir:

Your article on our muralist and human-flesh-fancier Diego Rivera is light, bright and gaudy. As entertainment—Trotsky, Paulette Goddard and canard faisande—it is superb. As a serious study on a very good painter who is never as great as you estimate him, it is lame, superficial, obvious, and in some aspects, totally false.

Rivera is, at his best, a pocket-size Homer, at his worst a billboard-calendarist wooing the tourist trade. And for all the movement and technical preciseness and colour, Diego Rivera has never been, certainly is not, Mexico's or the Hemisphere's greatest living artist . . .

Never, never mistake a good stylist like

Diego Rivera with an artist of worldwide range like Mexico's Orozco [TIME, Feb. 24, 1947]. In him is the truth, the life, the significance and magic spell of his land.

CARLOS FUENTES Mexico, D.F.

Sir:

TIME'S three-dimensional portrait of Diego Rivera [April 4] reveals the man with archeological clarity.

It is reassuring to know that warm, red blood courses hungrily through the petrified veins of that Aztec god.

FRED M. MINOTTI Baltimore, Md.

Sir:

Enclosed please find the cover ... I just can't read the magazine with that hideous picture staring at me, nor can I put it aside for it is sure to glare at me . . .

ALICE M. PICKERING Black Earth, Wis.

Sir:

. . . To me it looks like a picture of the devil . . .

LEOPOLDO VALDES Evanston, 111.

At the Crossroads

Sir:

You say that Diego Rivera's picture for Rockefeller Center's RCA Building, The Crossroads, with Lenin uniting the workers, was "reduced to plaster dust." If that is the case, then it has been beautifully reassembled . . . for it can be seen in the Palace of Fine Arts, Mexico City ... A sizable amount of "dust" to be moved about, or did Rivera paint the same mural again for our neighbors to the South?

WILLIAM ALRICK Seattle, Wash.

Sir:

. . . According to my understanding, Mr. Rockefeller's objection was to the inclusion of an easily recognizable portrait of himself in the group to the left, which Rivera described as "socialite degenerates." I refer, of course, to the man with the glasses peering from behind the four card players . . .

GEORGE E. HOUSSER Vancouver, B.C.

After the Rockefeller Center mural was destroyed, Rivera repainted it with a few changes in Mexico City's Palace of Fine Arts, One of the changes was the addition of Rockefeller, who did not appear in the original mural.—ED.

Wrong Child

Sir:

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