José Clemente Orozco / México

Mexican painter, with his contemporaries Rivera and Siqueiros one of the trio of politically and socially committed fresco painters who were the dominant force in modern Mexican art. He was born in Zapotlán el Grande (now Ciudad Guzmán) and grew up in Guadalajara and Mexico City. Originally he trained to be an architect, but he abandoned this idea after losing his left hand in an accident in 1900 and turned instead to painting, studying under Dr Atl at the Academy of San Carlos in Mexico City, 1906–14. He spent most of his artistic life engaged on mural projects in Mexico City and Guadalajara, the country’s second city. His last work, Hidalgo and the Liberation of Mexico, for the Senate Chamber of the Palace of Government in Guadalajara, was finished shortly before his death in 1949. In his last years his work became ever more violent in expression, moved by a passionate concern for the suffering and miseries of mankind. Four years before his death, Orozco’s autobiography was published; it was translated into English in 1962. His studio in Guadalajara is now a museum dedicated to him; a commemorative statue of Orozco stands in the park opposite.

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