The first issue of Forma [Form] magazine appeared in October 1926. José Manuel Puig Casauranc (1888–1939), Minister of Public Education (1924–28), announced on the first page that his ministry’s role was to promote and develop the visual arts that were “an increasingly clear and evident revelation, a formidable source of creative strength that inspires our people.” He added that the pre-Hispanic ruins were proof of that great talent. The Minister’s introduction touched on a number of concepts mentioned in the post-revolutionary governmental discourse that had been nuanced by the Primitivist trends and ideas of the European avant-garde. Puig Casauranc stressed that they would like the magazine to publish art that was free of negative influences. In his opinion, such influences included the Frenchified bad taste of the nineteenth century, “bad models,” and industrialism in art.
The magazine was created and directed by the painter Gabriel Fernández Ledesma, and jointly edited by the SEP [Ministry of Public Education] and the Universidad Nacional de México—at that time still lacking autonomy. Salvador Novo was responsible for the magazine’s editorial policy that—as Puig Casauranc mentioned in his presentation—“will dictate the content of the magazine, and whose strict parameters should daunt no true, sincere artist.” Forma was perhaps the first magazine devoted to painting, printmaking, sculpture, architecture, and traditional expressions, as announced on the cover. Only seven issues appeared; publication ceased after 1928, a year of important political changes in the country (presidential elections and turnover in governmental positions).The first three issues were the only ones to include a survey of this kind, on painting, sculpture, and architecture. The most relevant information that emerged from the survey on sculpture was the dissatisfaction expressed by the majority of respondents regarding the attitude and production of academic artists, and the separation between academic and popular sculpture. It should not be overlooked that there was already interest in combining sculpture with architecture, an idea that came into its own during the 1950s as part of the Integración Plástica [Integrated Visual Arts] movement.