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José Clemente Orozco
(Ciudad Guzmán, Mexico, 1883 - 1949, Mexico City)
Born 1883, Ciudad Guzmán, Mexico; active 1917–20, New York and California; 1920–27, Mexico City; 1927–34, New York, California, and New Hampshire; 1934-35, Guadalajara; 1935–49, Mexico City; died 1949, Mexico City
Orozco, who was educated at the San Jacinto School of Agriculture, the National University of Mexico, and the Academy of San Carlos in Mexico City, lost his left hand and the sight in one eye in an accident during his school years. He began his artistic career as a caricaturist and in 1915 worked with the painter Dr. Atl on the publication La Vanguardia. He made a trip to the United States in 1917-19; when he returned to Mexico he joined the Syndicate of Technical Workers, Painters and Sculptors and began work on murals in the National Preparatory School. He spent time in the U.S. again between 1927 and 1934, working on murals at the New School for Social Research in New York and at Darmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire. Back in Mexico he worked on several mural projects in Guadalajara at the University of Guadalajara, the Government Palace, and the Hospicio Cabanas between 1936 and 1939. In 1939 he executed yet another U.S. mural commission for Pomona College, Claremont, California. Orozco's involvement with the grahic arts may be divided into three major stages. The first period extends from 1926 to 1932 and consists entirely of lithographs. Throughout most of this period, Orozco lived in the U.S. and worked with the printer George Miller. For a brief period in September 1935, Orozco took up etching for the first time and completed several lithographs. The last stage of his printmaking activity began in 1944 and lasted until 1949. During this time, he printed fifteen etchings, drypoints and aquatints in his studio in Mexico and as a Taller de Gráfica Popular guest artist, contributed to the 1944 album of thirty prints which also included work by Rivera, Siqeiros, Méndez and others.