José Clemente Orozco MMoCA Collects

Mexican, 1883–1949

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José Clemente Orozco at work on the sixth fresco panel from Epic of Civilization on the American Continent. Photograph courtesy of Dartmouth College Library.
José Clemente Orozco, La retaguardia/The rear guard, lithograph, 1929.

José Clemente Orozco was one of three artists known as Los Tres Grandes (The Three Greats). The other two, Diego Rivera and David Alfaro Siqueiros, along with Clemente Orozco dominated Mexican Modernism, whose center was Mexico City during the 1920s and 1930s. These three artists were also the leaders of the Mexican muralist movement that celebrated the history of Mexico and the socialist values of the Mexican Revolution. Their nationalist art, as well as work by many other Mexican artists, appeared on the walls of schools, civic buildings, churches, and museums. The celebrity of Clemente Orozco, Rivera, and Siqueiros led to important commissions for Los Tres Grandes in the United States.

Clemente Orozco lived in the United States between 1927 and 1934 and executed a number of important mural commissions, most outstandingly The Epic of American Civilization (1932-34) for Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire. Clemente Orozco is known for his expressionist style that combines energetic brushwork and radiant color. He was also a distinguished printmaker; his dark and brooding lithographs were a major contribution to the Mexican print renaissance of the period.

More Works by José Clemente Orozco in the MMoCA Collection

Manos
The Soldier's Wife

Related Topics

Suggested Readings

Orozco, Clemente V. José Clemente Orozco: Graphic Work. Austin: University of Texas Press, 2004.

Orozco, José Clemente. José Clemente Orozco. Mineola, New York: Dover Publishers, 2001.

Rochfort, Desmond. Mexican Muralists: Orozco, Rivera, Siqueiros. San Francisco: Chronicle Books, 1998.

Teaching Pages

José Clemente Orozco, La retaguardia, 1929, lithograph, 16 7/8 x 22 3/4 inches. Collection of the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art. Gift of Rudolph and Louise Langer. © 2013 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / SOMAAP, Mexico City.

José Clemente Orozco at work on the sixth fresco panel from Epic of Civilization on the American Continent. Photograph courtesy of Dartmouth College Library.