How do artists show the passage of time?
Let’s look at the painting Alegoría del Progreso (Allegory of Progress) to examine how Siqueiros depicted time moving forward.
Alegoría del progreso / Allegory of Progress, 1950
Pyroxylin on masonite / Piroxilina sobre masonite
Courtesy of Galería de Arte Mexicano, Mexico
Photograph/Fotografía: Agustín Estrada
An allegory is a picture or story that teaches a lesson or wants to relate a specific feeling. Look at the painting and think about its title. What lesson do you think that Siqueiros is trying to share?
Allegory of Progress shows how technology and the implementation of machinery change the landscape. On one half of the foreground, the land is bare and dry, while on the other side, a tractor is planting what appears to be wheat. A train shoots out from the background into the foreground on a completely different plane, showing the way people pass through landscapes. Does this painting depict the time before or after people arrive in the landscape? Was this an abandoned city or is it on the verge of developing?
If this painting is an allegory, what lesson is it teaching us? Keep in mind that Siqueiros made this painting in 1950. Is the lesson or moral he is teaching us relevant today? What is going on in current events that may be related to a painting that is sixty years old?
SIQUEIROS AND THE WORLD AROUND HIM
SIQUEIROS AND INDUSTRIAL MATERIALS
SIQUEIROS AND COSMIC LANDSCAPE
SIQUEIROS AND HIS USE OF ALLEGORY
THE CHANGING LANDSCAPE MAZE BOOK