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At Rivera was in the midst of a prolific period when he began this mural. His retrospective exhibition at MoMA opened in December to positive reviews and contemporaneous mural projects in San Francisco and Detroit enhanced his celebrity as one of the greatest Mexican muralists. Though the composition is bursting with activity, Rivera establishes order by using the central figure as a vertical axis: if we fold the scene down the middle, spaces and objects like the two giant magnifying glasses align. Rivera underscores how capitalist nations use technology poison gas, machine guns, and warplanes as destructive forces.
Nude Descending a Staircase, No. The work is widely regarded as a Modernist classic and has become one of the most famous of its time. The discernible "body parts" of the figure are composed of nested, conical and cylindrical abstract elements, assembled together in such a way as to suggest rhythm and convey the movement of the figure merging into itself. Dark outlines limit the contours of the body while serving as motion lines that emphasize the dynamics of the moving figure, while the accented arcs of the dotted lines seem to suggest a thrusting pelvic motion. The movement seems to be rotated counterclockwise from the upper left to the lower right corner, where the gradient of the apparently frozen sequence corresponding to the bottom right to top left dark, respectively, becomes more transparent , the fading of which is apparently intended to simulate the "older" section. At the edges of the picture, the steps are indicated in darker colors.