Jose Chavez Morado

Silao, Guanajuato, 1909 - Guanajuato, 2002

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Excerpts about Jose Chavez Morado

Jose Chavez Morado belonged to the group of artists from the Mexican School of Painting. This is the last of the great Mexican muralists of the next generation following Diego Rivera, Jose Clemente Orozco and David Alfaro Siqueiros. Like most other muralists, from very young, he was actively involved in the socialist movement of Mexico.

In the beginning his painting denoted a great identification with the urban landscape and the popular customs. In the forties his painting already showed its own character, combining his wonder by popular beliefs, peasant religiosity, irony, critical thinking and fantasy. (Source: DAG)

According to an interview made ​​by Carlos Monsivais to Chavez Morado, the artist said: "In 1944 I discussed with Siqueiros. In fact, he also did not defend realism. He was seeking the exaltation, the gigantic, something close to socialist realism of the hero. And I disagreed. He wanted to create an entire school around his gigantomachy... We often talked, sometimes joking and others seriously. I said he was a warlord, an equivalent to the warlords of the Revolution. And he flipped the “tortilla”, he said that I was like Avila Camacho, the review of the Revolution. We heartily exchanged slapping.

For me, realism does not exist, because the artist must be unfaithful or it is not an artist, but a camera. Now, how many documents you require to make it a fantasy, that is what is in dispute. Everyone takes what they need. Some people barely refer to reality, and focus on color and movement. If there are figuration, one approaches to reality; inclusively if you approach reality creating monsters, you are proposing a zoology, a bestiary of everyday life. But realism does not exist at all. What I seek is lean on what I see and let it out, sometimes very directly.

With the symbols I interacted creating them. I find the great wealth of symbols in the pre-Hispanic, and generally in Mexican history. My intention is to call to his strength, his gift of permanence, but I have no illusions about it. Any symbolism of an era farther loses its validity". (Source: Interview to Jose Chavez Morado by Carlos Monsivais, Jose Chavez Morado para todos Internacional, 1989)

Vigorous was his system of signs to symbolize the mestizaje, whose socio-economic and historical conflict has been most dramatically where nature, such as in Guanajuato, has coveted treasures. The intense and sustained meditation by Chavez Morado about Guanajuato has made that beings, traditions, houses and things seem increasingly to his representations. This is like saying that the art of Chavez Morado is intense, legitimate and deep enough to condition our vision. For reality begins to resemble the art, that art needs be abstracted from its core enduring reality. Above sarcasm and black humor-to which its lines and spots serve very effectively-tenderness and solidarity emerge as prominent emotional factors, either by reference to the past or present of the Mexican people. (Source: By Raquel Tibol at Proceso, 27 de julio de 2012)


Main Solo Exhibitions


1944 "Jose Chavez Morado", Galeria de Arte Mexicano, Mexico City.

1976 "Chavez Morado: Apuntes de mi libreta", Galeria Jose Clemente Orozco, Mexico City.

1988 "Chavez Morado: Exposición retrospectiva", Museo del Palacio de Bellas Artes, Mexico City.

2003 "Jose Chavez Morado: Dibujo y grabado en papel", 31 Festival Internacional Cervantino, Guanajuato, Mexico

2004 "Jose Chavez Morado: En memoria", Museo de Arte Moderno, Mexico City

2011 "Jose Chavez Morado: Una mirada de Mexico", Instituto de Mexico en España, Madrid