One of the most important initiatives that altered artistic practices in Mexico was the Independent Salon. It gave rise to the possibility of group organizations that could develop joint and experimental projects, in addition to strengthening attitudes that challenged the established order.
The exhibition is grounded in research in different archives and aims to carry out historiographic work that documents and reconstructs the three exhibitions organized by the Independent Salon from 1968 to 1970, as a key moment in the transformation of the art world in Mexico.
The Independent Salon brought together artists from heterogeneous aesthetic and political positions, with a proposal that, by establishing a distance with institutions and the commercial gallery circuit, articulated new artistic languages and explored non-traditional media and new options for the consumption of art.
The interest of its members to break the boundaries between artistic disciplines and take their works to other audiences allowed them to move their work towards less explored areas such as fashion and cinema. In addition, during their brief existence, they developed an ephemeral and collaborative art that influenced Mexico’s more recent artistic history, since it became a benchmark for dialogue with the experiences of later decades, thanks to the fact that this group took as its premises aesthetic and political radicalism in the midst of social change.
The First Independent Salon opened its doors in October 1968, at the Isidro Fabela Cultural Center: the participants organized themselves as a result of the disagreement generated by the Solar Exhibition organized by the National Institute of Fine Arts (INBA), held in parallel to the Mexico City Olympics that year, which coincided with the violent repression of the student movement. In 1969 and 1970 the Second and Third Independent Salons were held in the University Museum of Sciences and Arts (MUCA), part of the UNAM, and as a result political dissent was formalized. In 1970, for budgetary reasons, the works were made with paper and cardboard alone, and in situ, with an ephemeral and experimental character. This final exhibition was also presented in the cities of Toluca and Guadalajara.