Jose Clemente Orozco

Zapotlan El Grande, Jalisco, 1883 - Mexico City, 1949

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Excerpts about Jose Clemente Orozco

In the general consciousness of men, an image of Mexico has been formed as dominant among all other associations, and so sustained over time, it will be definitely which identifies our country in history. This image is of the great art that has been produced in Mexico in all periods of its life, an integral and indivisible part of it is the paintings of Jose Clemente Orozco.

Although there are not an unanimous opinion about the artist's work, it has been described as anarchist, anti-social, mystical, anticlerical, humanist, individualist, etc., but possible there is agreement on the immense contribution that his artistic production has represented during periods of gestation, emergence and maturity of Mexican painting.

At this period of objection to academicism of his teachers and the French Impressionism, whose influence began to be felt in Mexico, and his rebellion against the anti-popular Porfirian concept of "nice" beauty, correspond his small oils and watercolors of prostitutes, from the sordid interiors of non-sanctas homes of the slums. These works exude a deep moral sense and reveal the hand of a master.

Jose Clemente Orozco painted reality, the "reality of the human, either physically, mentally or spiritually." His realism is the truth observed with destructive vision of false illusions, disdainful of hypocrites activities. Its theme is the drama of humanity, its reality, rude and brutal, relentless civil courage, in him there are not euphemisms or dissimulation.

This way of expressing the truth is one of the aspects that makes intensely of Jose Clemente Orozco a Mexican painter, since is equated with the manner in which the people see their own reality, sarcastically, mocking fiercely about his unfortunate existence. In the Orozco’s painting there is not Mexican outer, nor decorative, or anecdotal or picturesque, but in it there is the quintessence of what is Mexico and an indigenous mystery, a poetic strength born of the great plastics vernacular tradition that points his work as great Mexican and universal art.

But Jose Clemente Orozco is, above all, a mural painter, this is ultimately his true identity and professional definition, since he himself says: "The highest form, more logical, more pure and strong of the painting, is the mural. It is also the most selfless way because it can not be converted into an object of personal gain, it can not be hidden for the benefit of a privileged. It is for the people. It is for ALL". (Source: José Clemente Orozco, by Fernando Gamboa, 1947, Colección Anáhuac – Arte Mexicano)


Main Solo Exhibitions


1925 "José Clemente Orozco", Galería Berheim – Jeune, Paris.

1929 "José Clemente Orozco", Galerá Ferme la Nuit, Paris.

1929 "José Clemente Orozco", Art Students League, New York.

1930 "José Clemente Orozco", Delphic Studios, New York

1930 "José Clemente Orozco", Museo Albertini, Venice

1930 "José Clemente Orozco", Museum Exposition Park, Los Angeles, California

1931 "José Clemente Orozco", The Downtown Gallery, New York

1931 "José Clemente Orozco", Garce Horne´s Galleries, Boston Massachusetts

1943 Primera exposición en el Colegio Nacional, Mexico City

1944 Segunda exposición en el Colegio Nacional, Mexico City

1945 Tercera exposición en el Colegio Nacional, Mexico City

1946 Cuarta exposición en el Colegio Nacional, Mexico City

1947 "José Clemente Orozco: Exposición Nacional Retrospectiva", Palacio de Bellas Artes, Mexico City

1947 Quinta exposición en el Colegio Nacional, Mexico City

1948 Sexta exposición en el Colegio Nacional, Mexico City

1949 "Homenaje a José Clemente Orozco", Colegio Nacional, Mexico City

1952 "José Clemente Orozco: Homenaje en ocasión de la fundación del Museo taller dedicado a su memoria"

1958 "José Clemente Orozco: Exposición retrospectiva", Primer Bienal Internacional de México

1961 "José Clemente Orozco: Exposición especial en la VI Bienal de Sao Paulo"

1978 "José Clemente Orozco", Centro de Difusión Cultural del Instituto Potosino de Bellas Artes

1979 "Exposición Nacional de Homenaje a José Clemente Orozco con motivo del XXX aniversario de su fallecimiento", Sala Nacional y Adyacentes del Palacio de Bellas Artes, Mexico City