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Anales del Instituto de Investigaciones Estéticas

versión impresa ISSN 0185-1276


NOELLE, Louise. Integración plástica y funcionalismo. El edificio del Cárcamo del Sistema Hidráulico Lerma y Ricardo Rivas. An. Inst. Investig. Estét [online]. 2001, vol.23, n.78, pp.189-202. ISSN 0185-1276.

The theme of expressive integration and its architectural and pictorial adaptation has been the subject of numerous debates and studies over the last fifty years. It is therefore vital that we reconsider the words of Diego Rivera who noted that, "it is important to understand that real mural painting is necessarily a functional part of a building's life". A valid proposal consists of the building known as the Lerma Waterwheel, where Ricardo Rivas planned his work by "offering me... what he conceived would perhaps be the most interesting work I have ever done in my life..." This is a pictorial work entitled Water in the Evolution of the Species, 1951, in which the artist employed polystyrene and liquid rubber, materials he believed would resist the passage of water. It is complemented by a fountain situated at the front of the building, a sculpture-painting of Tlaloc based on colored tiles and stones. This research not only centers on the building and work of Rivera, but also on architect Ricardo Rivas, who was born in the city of Oaxaca on May 28, 1913, and died in Mexico City on January 20, 1998. Little is really known of the man who was a professor of the Higher School of Engineering and Architecture of the National Polytechnic Institute (IPN) from 1953 until his death. Our attention is drawn more towards his links with Enrique Yáñez at the Mexican Electricans' Union between 1936 and 1940, and his collaboration with a group known as the Union of Socialist Architects that promoted a variety of noteworthy activities from 1938 to 1938. Similarly, the study discusses and evaluates the architect's professional activities in the areas of design and thought, both of which have given him a place in the development of XX century Mexican architecture.

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