César Moro Between Indigenism and Surrealism
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Current scholarship too narrowly studies Peruvian surrealist César Moro's (1903-1956) graphic and poetic works as two equivalent mechanisms of expression and overemphasizes his rupture from surrealism in 1942. In this thesis, I integrate study of Moro's plastic and graphic works with his curatorial endeavors and revise common perception of his definitive break from surrealism, focusing instead on his turn to surrealism in 1927. Engaged in efforts to combat the repression of indigenous and pre-Columbian histories in Peru during the 1930s, I argue that Moro employed surrealist collage as a decolonial enterprise in order to oppose the entrenched nationalism of indigenismo artwork, the most important movement of Peruvian modernism. This thesis demonstrates that Moro's crticism of pictorial indigenismo artists like Peruvian José Sabogal (b. 1888-1956), leader of the movement, has its roots in his surrealist collage enterprise and continues even after his defect from surrealism in 1942.