Documents of 20th-century Latin American and Latino Art Home


Document first page thumbnail
  • ICAA Record ID
    Autobiografía de José Clemente Orozco : La mesa puesta. Los primeros ensayos. Capacidad crítica de los pintores. Jean Charlot. Pintura europea. Artistas de hoy / por José Clemente Orozco
    Excélsior : El periódico de la vida nacional (México, D. F.). --Mar. 13, 1942
    p. 4, 12
    Newspaper article – Biographies
    Orozco, José Clemente. "Autobiografía de José Clemente Orozco: La mesa puesta. Los primeros ensayos. Capacidad crítica de los pintores. Jean Charlot. Pintura europea. Artistas de hoy." Excélsior: Periódico de la vida nacional (Mexico City), March 13, 1942.

In this document, José Clemente Orozco provides a vast panorama of what he believes was thought in Mexico in 1920 regarding art: 1. Any person could feel he was a painter; 2. Pre-Cortés art was the only tradition and everyone spoke of the “renaissance of indigenous art”; 3. There was enormous enthusiasm for the indigenous art of the times; 4. Folk art was already frequently appearing in the arts; 5. An acute nationalism was burgeoning; 6. Art should essentially be a weapon in social conflicts; 7. Dr. Atl had pioneered the attitude of intervening directly in politics; and 8. Artists were passionate about sociology and history. He also admits that “mural painting began under very auspicious conditions and that . . . today’s painters and sculptors would be men of action, strong, healthy and educated.” He also emphasizes that Jean Charlot’s presence during this beginning “tempered our youthful outbursts with his calm and culture; his clear vision frequently illuminated our problems.” He also mentions the principal techniques and aesthetic means available to the muralists were from Italy or Paris. 


After his trip to the United States and a brief visit to Canada, José Clemente Orozco (1883–1949) returned to Mexico in 1919, though he was not invited to participate in the Muralist movement until 1923, because of the recommendation of the poet and art critic José Juan Tablada (1871–1945). The painter was marginalized from the aforementioned process for nearly four years, the same years he explores in the article.

Alejandro García : CURARE A. C.
CURARE, Espacio crítico para las artes, Mexico City, Mexico
© 2011 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / SOMAAP, Mexico City, Mexico
Instituto de Investigaciones Bibliográficas : Biblioteca Nacional/Hemeroteca Nacional