José Clemente Orozco was a Mexican painter, muralist and graphic artist. He was considered one of the top three Mexican Muralists, along with Rivera and Siqueiros. Orozco’s politically themed work often focused on the proletariat, or the masses, those living in poverty and the suffering.
The Rear Guard. 1929. Lithograph. MMoCA
Mexican Landscape. 1930. Lithograph. MoMA
In addition to Orozco’s large-scale murals, he produced a number of iconic prints and illustrations. Early in his career, Orozco made money as a caricaturist for a newspaper. A few years before his death, he completed illustrations for John Steinbeck’s book, The Pearl. The book was inspired by a Mexican folk tale. Orozco also completed a number of lithographs, with powerful images, combining his talent of illustration and mural painting. Orozco printed around 30 lithographs and 20 etchings in his own studio.
Zapatistas. 1936. Lithograph
The Masses. 1935. Lithograph
The Requiem. 1928. Lithograph
Like many of his contemporaries, Orozco spent around ten years of his career living in New York, where he was able to build his name and reputation. Orozco eventually returned to Mexico, where he painted his final mural outdoors. Orozco’s work is now in major museums around the world. His illustrations, prints and drawings are widely reproduced.