Germán Cueto

Born, 1883, Mexico City

Died, 1975


Considered to be the first Mexican abstract artist.

1910   Flees to Spain to escape the fighting of the Mexican Revolution.  Meets sculptor Fidencio Nava who convinces him to change careers and become an artist. 

1918   Returns to Mexico and studies at the Academy of San Carlos.  

1923   Co-founds the Stridentism movement in Mexico.  The movement’s goal was to reshape literature and art.  Begins constructing masks of cardboard and other materials.    

1927-1932   Lives in Paris, traveling to the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Italy, and Switzerland.  His sculptural work becomes more abstract and he associates with artists such as Julio González, Joaquín Torres García and Jacques Lipchitz.  Becomes a member of Cercle et Carré and associates with Piet Mondrian, Jean Arp, Wassily Kandinsky and Georges Vantongerloo. 

1932   Returns to Mexico.  While he identifies politically and socially with the Mexican school of painting, his aesthetics remain European because of his time in Paris.    

1948   Directs the Dance Institute at the Palacio de Bellas Artes, creating masks for their performances.

1956-59   Works as an art professor at the Escuela Nacional de Pintura, Escultura y Grabado.

1965   Retrospective exhibition at the Museo de Arte Moderno.