Lot 58
  • 58

David Alfaro Siqueiros (1896-1974)

40,000 - 60,000 USD
434,500 USD
bidding is closed


  • David Alfaro Siqueiros
  • Tempestad (The Storm)

  • pyroxylin on Paragon paper


Pierre Matisse Gallery, New York
Mary and Earle Ludgin Collection
Gift of Mary and Earle Ludgin to the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago (2008)


New York, Pierre Matisse Gallery, David Alfaro Siqueiros: Exposed to Foreign Ideas, January 9-February 3, 1940
Chicago, Museum of Contemporary Art, The Mary and Earle Ludgin Collection, January 15-March 13, 1983
Mexico City, Museo Nacional de Arte, November 28, 1996-February 16, 1997; Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara Museum of Art, March 8-May 11, 1997; Houston, The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, June 1-July 22, 1997, Portrait of a Decade. David Alfaro Siqueiros, 1930-1940, no. 124, p. 205, illustrated

Catalogue Note

Tempestad was painted in 1939, and was exhibited at the Pierre Matisse Gallery in New York, as part of the Siqueiros one man show held the 2nd of January 1940. [1]  The painting is related to a series of experiments Siqueiros was carrying out in order to represent reality itself in painting.[2]  His desire was to capture not only the appearance, but also the feeling of dark clouds produced by fire. He was especially attracted to the images of war bombs falling on the city, such as in Explosión en la Ciudad and Tempestad.[3]  He also depicted fire produced by the tempest, nature's electricity. The clouds painted by Siqueiros were "controlled accidents", done by dripping pyroxylin (Duco paint) from the can, directly over the canvas. His unconscious movement while working shows his profound relationship  with Abstract Expressionism.  His figurative expressions arose from the unconscious forms of his fancy. If one observes in detail the black cloud crossing earth and sky, one can perceive that the Super Hero of the mural at the Hospital de la Raza, [4] was generated as a consequence of the structural process of his kinetic style. You can also relate this series of paintings to the subject of warfare, with the fire and the smoke clouds painted in the mural at the Sindicato de Electricistas (1939).[5] This mural was dedicated to the defeat of the Spanish Republic, where Siqueiros fought as a soldier.

Dr. Irene Herner
March 2012

[1] Coordinated by Inés Amor, owner of Galería de Arte Mexicano.
[2] See catalogue Siqueiros Paisajista, Museo Carrillo Gil, 2011.
[3] Irene Herner, "Explosión en la ciudad", Siqueiros from Paradise to Utopia, p. 181-184
[4] Mural Cycle Por una seguridad completa y para todos los mexicanos, ("For Complete Social Security for All  Mexicans"), 1952-54
[5] Mural Cycle Retrato de la Burguesía ("Portrait of the Bourgeoisie") 1939-1940.