Orozco on the East Coast
Orozco lived in New York for a while - 1927 until 1934 and then again in 1940 and 1946.
One of his amazing murals is in a basement room in Dartmouth College. You'd be right to say that Dartmouth isn't in New York; it's in New Hampshire. But the mural he painted there is so amazing - I just have to write about it. It's called "The Epic of American Civilization" and it's 92-feet long. It portrays American civilization from the invasion of Mexico during the conquest to the Mexican revolution to scenes in the United States during the 1930s.
|One segment of "The Epic of American Civilization", Jose Clemente Orozco, 1934, via Dartmouth|
What stuck out to me is that the people look blurry and faraway, just like they would if you were trying to avoid seeing other people on a subway car. Beyond just the need to have space in a big city (even if it's only mental space), there's also a survival need there. You never know who you might meet on the subway and whether they are sane, unfriendly, or even short-tempered to the point of being murderous. Orozco shows the distance we place between ourselves and others in this painting.
|"The Subway," Jose Clemente Orozco, 1928, via MoMA|
Rufino Tamayo in New York
During the late 1920s, Tamayo was being eclipsed by the three great Mexican muralists of his time. There was really no need because Tamayo was an excellent painter who painted in a more universal style than the muralists. He wanted to base his art in principles of modern art, meaning flat compositions and abstract forms. Tamayo lived in New York between 1926-1928 and again in 1936 until 1950."I went to New York to get to know what painting really was... We were blind here, and New York made me aware of all the trends and currents that existed in those years. It showed me what art was."- Rufino Tamayo (via this New York Times article)
He exhibited in several galleries in New York and also had a major retrospective at the Guggenheim museum in New York in 1979. Not convinced? Here are two of his paintings that he did while in New York:
|"Animales," Rufino Tamayo, 1941, via MoMA|
|"Woman with a Pineapple," Rufino Tamayo, 1941, via MoMA|
Next up: Miguel Covarrubias and Joaquin Torres Garcia! Hope you're enjoying my presentation over many blog posts.