Documents of 20th-century Latin American and Latino Art

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Synopsis

Author Dorothy Chaplik provides an overview of the life and art of Alejandro Romero, a recognized Chicago-based Mexican painter and muralist. She traces his artistic career from his childhood in Tabasco and youth and Mexico City, when he first discovered his own drawing and painting skills, pre-Hispanic art, and the great Mexican muralists, his training at the Academy of San Carlos and in Siqueiros’ mural workshop under Juan O’Gorman included. After working as the art director of an advertising agency for some years, Romero headed to Europe, spending two years at a Paris art school and exploring on Italy’s Renaissance artists. Next, Romero headed to the United States, studying printmaking at the Artists’ Collective in Taos, New Mexico, before entering the Art Institute of Chicago. He has since made Chicago his hometown. In Romero’s regard, Chaplik considers the influences of both José Guadalupe Posada and the Mexican muralists, but devotes most of the article to exploring his paintings’ connections to European masters such as Bosch and Brueghel. Ultimately, Chaplik argues, Romero remains true to his grass-roots nexus to the Mexican masters in his concern for the human condition, the shapes of his figures, his use of color, and his Baroque treatment of space. 

Annotations

The document “Alejandro Romero” is part of the private papers of Dorothy Chaplik housed in the Women and Leadership Archives at Loyola University in Chicago, Illinois. An enthusiast of Latin American art, Chaplik lectured on European and Latin American art at the Chicago Cultural Center and the Ray College of Design in Schaumburg, among other institutions, and worked at the Art Institute of Chicago from 1962–74. She is the author of three important books in the field, Latin American Art: An Introduction to the Works of the 20th Century (1989), Latin American Arts and Cultures (2001), as well as Defining Latin American Art (2005).

Researcher
Víctor Alejandro Sorell, Gabrielle Toth; Marcela Guerrero, collaborator
Team
Institute for Latino Studies, University of Notre Dame, South Bend, USA
Credit
Courtesy of the private archives of Dorothy Chaplik, Skokie, IL