May 13, 2021

Vicente Rojo, a fundamental artist for 20th century Mexican art


Mexico, Mar 17 (EFE) .- The Mexican artist of Spanish origin Vicente Rojo Almazán, who died this Wednesday at the age of 89, was a fundamental painter and sculptor for the evolution of culture in the second half of the 20th century who left a sling footprint in Mexico, his adopted country.

Mexican artist of Spanish origin Vicente Rojo dies at 89

Mexican artist of Spanish origin Vicente Rojo dies at 89

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Exiled since 1949, Rojo (Barcelona, ​​1932) was one of many Spaniards who enjoyed enormous prestige and recognition in this country, surely higher than that of Spain and his native Catalonia.

Rojo studied painting and typography shortly after arriving in Mexico and embarked on numerous cultural activities, among which the most important was founding, together with José Azorín and the Neus brothers, Jordi and Quico Espresate, the Era publishing house, of which he was artistic director.

The stamp marked an era, since in it he published his first collection of poems, “Los elements del fuego” (1962), at the age of 23, the Mexican José Emilio Pacheco, Cervantes Prize for Literature in 2009, and the Nobel Prize for Literature Gabriel García Márquez ( 1980) the first edition of “The colonel has no one to write to him” (1961).

Before, in the fifties, he worked in the publishing area of ​​the National Institute of Fine Arts (INBA), in the supplement “México en la Cultura” of the newspaper Novedades and in the Magazine of the University of Mexico.

Nephew of Republican General Vicente Rojo Lluch (1894-1966), a prominent Spanish Republican chief who opposed the uprising of dictator Francisco Franco, Rojo Almazán was married to writer Bárbara Jacobs.

Rojo’s work has been developed from five artistic series: “Signs”, where he works with basic geometric shapes, “Negations”, in which each painting denied the previous one, “Memories”, an attempt to escape from a difficult childhood , “Mexico in the rain, conceived one day when it rained, and” Escenarios “, several miniseries together that review previous themes.

Author of a wide pictorial, graphic design and sculpture work developed in the second half of the 20th century, since 1980 he began to alternate painting and sculpture.

“In this exhibition I wanted to confront or combine something that I had not done before, which is the delicacy of the paper with the strong presence of bronze. That is a bit the meaning of this exhibition,” he said about his experimentation.

Critics consider Rojo an abstractionist author and place him in the Mexican art movement of “La ruptura”, which has sought new formal and conceptual languages, although he considered himself more than anything an innovator in form and color.

Artists such as José Luis Cuevas, Manuel Felguérez, Roger von Gunten, Enrique Echeverría, Lilia Carrillo, Brian Nissen and Fernando García Ponce are in the movement.

Over the years his work has been exhibited in various venues in Mexico as well as at the University of Texas in Austin, at the Círculo de Bellas Artes, the National Library and the Casa de la Moneda Museum in Madrid (Spain). among other enclosures.

During his lifetime he collaborated with numerous magazines such as “Artes de México”, which he founded, “Nuevo Cine”, “Diálogo”, “¡Siempre!”, And “La Gaceta” of the Fondo de Cultura Económica (FCE), and made several covers of “Vuelta” (1978-1982), founded by the poet Octavio Paz in 1976.

Vicente Rojo was awarded the 1991 National Prize for the Arts awarded by the National Council for Culture and the Arts (Conaculta), and has received the Medal of Merit in Fine Arts awarded by the Spanish government.

In 1993 he was appointed creator emeritus by the National System of Art Creators.

He is also a doctor “honoris causa” from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) and is also well known as the designer of the first cover of “One Hundred Years of Solitude”, the famous novel by Colombian Gabriel García Márquez.

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