Grinding Maize, Lithograph
Leopoldo Mendez (Mexican, 1902 – 1969)
Artist and political activist, Leopoldo Mendez was born in Mexico City in 1902. One of eight children, Mendez was born to a farm-working mother and shoe-making father of indigenous descent. His father's side of the family has a long tradition of political activism and Mendez followed suit, becoming a member of the Mexican Communist Party and the Anti-Imperialist League, which supported revolutions across Latin America. Mendez saw art as a tool to build social unity and created many political prints that supported leftist ideologies. Since his death in 1969, he has remained one of the best and most accomplished printmakers in Mexican history. Grinding Maize (in Spanish El Maiz) is set in a rural village, the beauty and presence of the landscape and traditional architecture make the figures seem diminutive as they go about their work.