Painted/Printed explores this tension and the interpenetration of Rojo’s main activities as painter and designer, which may be defined as a modernist creative tension.
For much of his career, Rojo maintained a functional and practical distinction between these two spheres of his work, one that endorsed the opposition between the utilitarian and the aesthetic, the social and the personal, the communicative and the enigmatic, the gesture and the word. Nevertheless, this effort to distinguish the two, which makes Vicente Rojo a paradigm of modernism in the Spanish-speaking world, is sometimes suspended as a result of the bridges erected by the signal, letter, or sign, recurrent motifs in his output. Works like Artefacto (1969), his display cabinet of painted books, the visual logic of series like Señales y Negaciones, made in the 1960s and 1970s, or his contributions to the history of the artist’s book—from the Discos Visuales he produced for Octavio Paz in 1968, to his recent experiments with non-texts like Novela (2007) and Jaque Mate (2011)—comprise an intermediate space between the strict disciplinary distinctions in which Rojo usually moves.
Similarly, the many collaborations with poets, essayists and writers—such as José Emilio Pacheco, José-Miguel Ullán, Bárbara Jacobs, Miguel León Portilla, among many others—has placed the connection between image and word in constant tension, where the former maintains a certain autonomy, despite its association with the subject announced by the latter.
Painted/Printed addresses this central pillar of the work of Vicente Rojo by offering both an excavation into the past and a presentation of recent work. On the one hand, it brings together a selection of graphic design and editorial works, artist’s books, sculpture and painting series, and drawings that seek to present the multiple tensions between word and image in the work of Rojo from the 1960s to the present day. On the other hand, a second part of the exhibition presents for the first time the series Casa de Letras (House of Letters), which Rojo has been working on since 2012.
With this exhibition, the MUAC seeks to contribute to developing an audience that is informed about the genealogy of contemporary art in Mexico, while paying homage to one of the country’s greatest living artists and cultural producers.
Artist: Vicente Rojo (Spain, 1932)
Curators: Cuauhtémoc Medina and Amanda de la Garza, in collaboration with Marina Garone (IIB, UNAM)
Authors : Cuauhtémoc Medina, Amanda de la Garza, Marina Garone, Daniel Garza Usabiaga, Federico Álvarez
Language : Spanish & English