David Alfaro Siqueiros, Mexican, 1896 - 1974
David Alfaro Siqueiros divided his life equally between painting and radical politics. In 1936, the artist took up arms to fight for the Republican army against Franco's fascist forces in the Spanish Civil War---the conflict that spurred him to paint this scene when he returned to Mexico in 1939. Realized in duco paint (synthetic lacquer), War was one of eleven paintings exhibited in Siqueiros's first solo exhibition in New York at the Pierre Matisse Gallery in 1940. Stylistically, the artist's highly sculptural rendering of a monumental nude body imbues this portable picture with a mural-like power.