Mysterious and powerful, a swooping horizontal composition that seems to reach out beyond the frame, the strong connection to the deep anthropological roots of Mexico, to magic and shamanistic customs, the startlingly matter-of-fact nudity of the woman, all make a strong case for this being the work of the great José Chávez Morado.
Has undergone some restoration to the background fields, unsigned, accompanied by paperwork attributing the work to Morado from a well known dealer in Mexican art.
Canvas 27″ x 35″, frame 32″ x 41″.
José Chávez Morado (January 4, 1909 – December 1, 2002) was a Mexican artist associated with the Mexican muralism movement of the 20th century. He was of the generation after that of Rivera, Orozco and Siqueiros. Although Chávez Morado took classes in California and Mexico, he is considered to be mostly self-taught. He experimented with various materials, and was one of the first Mexican artists to use Italian mosaic in monumental works. His major works include murals at the Ciudad Universitaria, Secretaría de Comunicaciones y Transportes and Museo Nacional de Antropología as well as frescos at the Alhóndiga de Granaditas which took twelve years to paint. From the 1940s on, he also worked as a cultural promoter, establishing a number of cultural institutions especially in his home state of Guanajuato including the Museo de Arte Olga Costa – José Chávez Morado, named after himself and his wife, artist Olga Costa.
José Chávez Morado (born January 4, 1909, Silao – died December 2, 2002, Guanajuato)
His house is a museum.
Morado was born in Silao, near the city of Guanajuato, where Diego Rivera was born, and like Rivera he is a well known and highly regarded painter and sculptor who became most famous for the murals he painted in Mexico in the first half of the 20th Century.
In 1925, young Morado took a train to the United States to find work. He worked odd jobs in Canada and all the way to Alaska. During a stay in Los Angeles he started studying drawing at the Chouinard School of Arts. He also met Jose Clemente Orozco at the Pomona College. In 1931, he was awarded a grant by the government of Guanajuato to study at the Escuela Nacional de Artes Plásticas under Francisco Díaz de León, Bulmaro Guzman and Emilio Amero. In 1935, he married a German exile living in Mexico by the name Olga Costa. In 1937, he joined the communist party and a year later he became a member of the Taller de la Grafica Popular with Dolores Alvarez Bravo, Carlos Alvarado Lang, Isidoro Ocampo and Maria Izquierdo among others.
His first solo show was held in 1944 at the Galeria de Arte Mexicano. In 1949, he traveled to Europe to study mosaics and a year later he returned to Mexico to build some of the most beautiful mosaic murals in the country. His most famous works can be seen at the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico, the Queztalcatl mural at the Centro Medico Siglo XXI, the tower in the patio of the Museo Nacional de Antropologia e Historia and his own personal favorite, the murals at the Alhondiga de Granaditas in Guanajuato.
He started working with sculpture in 1960 and created several monumental works in bronze. He was awarded the Premio Nacional de las Artes in 1974 and in 1985 an honorary degree from the UNAM.