Hand Signed Title Page from the Portfolio 20 Dibujos de Jose Clemente Orozco
Title Page from Portfolio #7 of 20 Dibujos de Jose Clemente Orozco de la Exposicion de Agosto de 1945 (20 Prints by Jose Clemente Orozco from the Exhibition of August 1945), Mexico
Jose Clemente Orozco (1883-1949)
Lithograph on Pannekoek paper, printed at Los Talleres Graficos De La Nacion, 23.5" x 17.5" framed
Original signature in ink. Dedicated to Raul Delgado y Familia in 1985. Framed with double sided glass to expose the signatures on the back.
José Clemente Orozco (Mexican, 1883–1949) was a Social Realist painter, and one of the most well-known proponents of the Mexican Mural Renaissance. Orozco first became interested in art when his family moved to Mexico City in 1890, where he was exposed to the work of famous printmaker José Guadalupe Posada. Orozco began taking classes at the Academy of San Carlos. Undeterred by the loss of his left hand in an accident at the age of 17, Orozco was determined to establish himself as a painter.
Considered to be the most complex of the Mexican muralists, which included Diego Rivera and David Alfaro Siqueiros, Orozco’s compositions display influences of symbolism, genre painting, and lithography, and were intensely focused on human suffering, depicting the lives of the peasants and working class.
Feeling underappreciated in Mexico, Orozco moved to the United States in the late 1920s, painting murals for New York University and Dartmouth College, where he created one of his most famous works, The Epic of American Civilization.
In 1934, Orozco returned to Mexico as an established and highly respected artist, and was invited to create the main fresco in the Government Palace in Guadalajara. He then painted what would come to be known as the “Sistine Chapel of the Americas,” the frescos inside Guadalajara’s Hospicio Cabañas. These works are a panorama of Mexican history, from pre-Hispanic times through the Mexican Revolution.
In 1940, he was asked by The Museum of Modern Art in New York to create the centerpiece for its exhibition Twenty Centuries of Mexican Art. Throughout the 1940s, Orozco received a number of other prestigious commissions, including a request from author John Steinbeck to illustrate his book The Pearl, as well as an invitation to paint his only outdoor mural, Allegory of the Nation, at the National Teachers College in Mexico, which was featured in LIFE magazine.
Orozco died of a heart attack in 1949 at his home in Guadalajara shortly after completing his last mural.