Paul Westheim in Mexico: A cosmopolitan 'Man contemplating the Heavens'

Authors
Citation
P. Chametzky, Paul Westheim in Mexico: A cosmopolitan 'Man contemplating the Heavens', OX ART J, 24(1), 2001, pp. 23-44
Citations number
82
Language
INGLESE
art.tipo
Article
Categorie Soggetti
Arts & Architecture
Journal title
OXFORD ART JOURNAL
ISSN journal
0142-6540 → ACNP
Volume
24
Issue
1
Year of publication
2001
Pages
23 - 44
Database
ISI
SICI code
0142-6540(2001)24:1<23:PWIMAC>2.0.ZU;2-Z
Abstract
The German-Jewish-Mexican art critic Paul Westheim is best remembered as on e of Weimar's most influential supporters of modern art, especially as edit or of Das Kunstblatt from 1933-1940, Westheim also produced an extensive an d trenchant body of contemporary criticism and satire of Nazi art theory an d policies. This article references those activities but focuses on a third and lest well-known aspect of Westheim's career: his work in Mexico from 1 941 until his death in 1963, when he established himself as a leading autho rity on Mexican art, both ancient anf modern. Factors enabling and inflecti ng his Mexican work included: his already other position as a German-Jewish intellectual, his studies with Heinrich Wolfflin and of Wilhelm Worringer and German Expressionism, his left-liberal political and aesthetic outlook, and his place in and out of, the largely Communist German exile community in Mexico. Through the construction of a positive image of cosmopolitan Mod ernism, as distinct from its negative anti-Semitic stereotype, Westheim's t hought exercised great influence on Octavio Paz and became an ingredient wi thin 'the other Mexico'.