The editorial categories are research topics that have guided researchers during the recovery phase and continue to be the impetus behind the Documents Project’s digital archive and the Critical Documents book series. Developed by the project’s Editorial Board, each of the teams analyzed this framework and adapted it to their local contexts in developing their research objectives and work plans during the Recovery Phase. Learn more on the Editorial Framework page.
When he first became involved in the muralist movement, José Clemente Orozco appeared hesitant and unaware of the basic principles of al fresco painting. In this article, however, Antonio Rodríguez reveals that Orozco possessed a sort of innermost fire that was always present in his caricatures and murals. This quality led him to some remarkable accomplishments even though his subject matter marked him as a rebel, since he was always against the beliefs held by the major political parties. Orozco’s works revolved around dramatic themes steeped in human life’s terrible events. He expressed himself with great intensity as he saw fit, both in his murals and the rest of his artistic output, which is why Orozco suddenly vaulted to prominence and took his place among the great painters who were developing at that time.
Antonio Rodríguez (1908-1993) was born in Portugal. He sought exile in Mexico in 1939 and took Mexican citizenship two years later. In his adopted country, Rodriguez wrote for various periodicals, becoming a well-known journalist and a key art critic. This article was part of the sorrowful tribute to José Clemente Orozco (1883-1949) that was published by El Nacional newspaper after the muralist’s death. Referring to the fire that was a constant theme in Orozco’s work, Rodriguez posits the element as analogous to the revolutionary fervor of the period, which was rife with radical posturing and incendiary statements in a deeply politicized environment.
This article is important because Rodriguez refers to Orozco’s character and the subject matter of his work to classify him as a paradigm of the period, and to portray him as the most representative exponent of the rebellious, anti-establishment spirit of the times.