Teatro de variedades en Harlem [Vaudeville in Harlem]
35.7 cm x 47.6 cm (14 1/16 in. x 18 3/4 in.)
George C.Miller & Son, Inc.
José Clemente Orozco
(Ciudad Guzmán, Mexico, 1883 - 1949, Mexico City)
Latin America, Mexican
Medium and Support:
Blanton Museum of Art, The University of Texas at Austin, Archer M. Huntington Museum Fund, 1986
In 1927 José Clemente Orozco moved to the United States, remaining there until 1934. One year after arriving in New York, he produced his first ever lithograph: Vaudeville in Harlem. Of the Blanton Museum’s six New York lithographs by Orozco, this one is unique in its representation of a local urban scene. The Harlem theater would have attracted Orozco, whose work often focused on popular culture, and it is possible that he saw a link between the Harlem Renaissance and the emphasis that the Mexican Revolution placed on Mexico’s indigenous population and culture. Vaudeville in Harlem uses the full tonal range of lithography, from the dark shadows of the audience to the spotlit stage, and the composition suggests that he was more interested in the social space of the theater than in the vaudeville spectacle itself. Despite the quality and sophistication of his New York prints, Orozco soon found himself under pressure to produce more typically Mexican scenes. Most of his subsequent work in the United States depicts scenes from the Mexican Revolution in the style for which he was already famous.