In 1932-33, Diego Rivera painted 27 fresco panels on the north and south walls of the Garden Court at the Detroit Institute of Arts. The dominant theme of the murals is the auto industry, paying tribute to industry and workers during the Great Depression.
The South Wall depicts a scene from an automobile factory’s assembly line. Rivera chose to portray this subject as it was representative of Detroit’s main industry at that time, reflecting both its prosperity and exploitation by large corporations. One of the most striking aspects of this mural is Rivera’s depiction of Aztec goddess Coatlicue in her industrial form, which shows indigenous cultures’ ability to adapt their gods to present-day circumstances. This artistic choice represents one example among many illustrating Riveras’ political views regarding class inequality.
A major characteristic that sets these murals apart from other popular artworks is their size – they cover 4400 square feet in total. With such scale comes a more profound message conveyed through various symbols and images that reflect Rivera’s deep knowledge not only about his country’s history but also about ideologies far beyond national borders. In conclusion, Diego Rivera’s Detroit Industry murals on the South Wall are a remarkable technological feat that blends nature, culture, and technology for mass production purposes while emphasizing how these forces interconnect within capitalist societies prone to social stratification struggles between different classes over time.