Palm Springs Art Museum debuts a new exhibition of graphic design from Mexico’s past and present to examine the field’s development over the past century and its role in the country’s popular culture. The exhibition, Eso es la vida/This is life, includes examples of posters, typography, and sign painting, as well as video and digital media that reveal visual communication as a vital facet of everyday life. It runs from August 12 through November 27, 2023, at the museum’s Architecture and Design Center, Edwards Harris Pavilion.
Eso es la vida brings foundational figures like José Guadalupe Posada and the Taller de Gráfica Popular into dialogue with contemporary practitioners including Estudio Herrera, the Red de Reproducción y Distribución, Carla Valdivia Nakatani, and others. Beginning with the state efforts to create a new national public after the Mexican Revolution, the exhibition recounts a history leading to contemporary design that complicates any simple sense of national identity or visual style.
“Eso es la vida/This is Life offers a window into the creative work of graphic designers in Mexico in the twentieth century and today,” curator Robert J. Kett said. “These projects show how design can be used to many ends—from supporting the work of the state and crafting national identities to protesting injustices and supporting the daily lives of communities. I hope the exhibition illustrates graphic design’s deep social importance and how the field has always included so much more than what exists within the boundaries of the European and American canon.”
The exhibition is curated by Robert J. Kett, PhD, Assistant Professor, Design Anthropology at Art Center College of Design and Adjunct Curator of Palm Springs Art Museum Architecture and Design Center.