History of Art and Architecture

Jennifer Josten Colloquium

Wednesday, March 29, 2017 - 12:00pm

Room 202 Frick Fine Arts

Creative Liberties: Orozco’s Legacy in Cold War Mexico

Jennifer Josten

image credit: Julio de la Peña, untitled drawing, in Mathias Goeritz, ed., Homenaje a Orozco (Guadalajara: Escuela de Arquitectura, 1950).

Mexican artist José Clemente Orozco died in 1949, in the midst of heated debates concerning the future of Mexico’s modern muralist tradition in the face of rapid urban and industrial expansion. While Orozco’s Mexican School peers insisted that the nation maintain a commitment to social realism, German émigré artist Mathias Goeritz claimed Orozco’s legacy for abstract art and integración plástica (sculpture integrated into architecture), which he framed in relation to Cold War-era concepts such as creative freedom. The city of Guadalajara was an important locus for these debates, and this lecture will highlight its contributions to midcentury Mexican modernism more broadly.