SIGNS AND LETTERS. VICENTE ROJO 1932 - 2021
Catalonian by birth but Mexican by choice, Vicente Rojo has become a benchmark in Mexican visual arts from the second half of the 20th century onwards. His work as a graphic designer, editor and artist transcends his time, turning him into an inexhaustible source of inspiration for posterity.
He came to Mexico from Spain in 1949 to meet with his father, a republican who was forced into exile in Mexico due to the Spanish Civil War and the policies of Francisco Franco. Through the support of Miguel Prieto, another Spanish painter and designer in exile, as well as that of renowned cultural promoter Fernando Gamboa, his entry to the National Institute of Fine Arts marked the beginning of his contributions to aesthetic trends in Mexican art.
His artistic career coincides with a period of cultural effervescence that he assimilated through a wide range of successful collaborations with fellow artists, as well as writers, playwrights, musicians, architects and editors. Magazines, books, covers, posters, newspapers and their supplements found in Vicente Rojo’s undeniable talent a transparent filter and an ideal counterpart for the interpretation and appreciation of their contents. Graphic designer, painter, engraver, sculptor and editor, Vicente Rojo was an outstanding member of the Ruptura generation, which opened the door to abstraction in Mexican visual arts and has bequeathed us, with a vast heritage that is still to be deciphered.
Among his last creations, the mural Urban Garden stands out, which covers the lateral façade of the Kaluz Museum, as well as the series Gardens at Bird’s-eye View, produced to raise funds for the medical treatment of the victims of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Although he was known for his discretion and sobriety, his rigour and dedication are imprinted in the quality of his work and manifests in the incredible generosity reflected in his art. Graphic designer, painter, engraver, sculptor and editor, Vicente Rojo was an outstanding member of the Ruptura generation, which opened the door to abstraction in Mexican visual arts and has bequeathed us, with a vast heritage that is still to be deciphered. It is his sobriety and elegance which liberate his forms from restrained or anecdotal contents.
A refiner of signs, he uses the most basic of forms geometry to create alphabets, letters and motifs that liberate our imagination towards the most unsuspected interpretations. In his designs, he marked one principal: down-to-earth and devoted to giving the best of himself in order to provoke the spectator’s sensibility.”
True to himself in every detail, his work invites different audiences to give free reign to their imagination, encouraging them to reflect and to find the creation and richness of a language that is both atemporal and incorruptible. Vicente Rojo will continue to live on in our collection and memory.
Isaac Masri Collection
“Endearing, intelligent, brilliant, consistent, honest. So was his work, his life, his character […] he was a patient, a friend, a counselor.”
The relationship between Isaac Masri and Vicente Rojo was long and fruitful. They collaborated for almost thirty years, culminating in the Indianilla Cultural Centre, with a wide range of projects in different formats, including public art, such as benches and fountains, among other things.
This series of works, assemblages in mixed media entitled Salon, evoke an interpretation of the artistic and literary production of artists such as Paul Klee, Jean Dubuffet, Germán Cueto, Joseph Cornell or Louise Nevelson, as well as writers like Franz Kafka, Carlos Pellicer, Italo Calvino or Agatha Christie.
The Kaluz Museum thanks the valuable collaboration of Dr. Isaac Masri in this exhibition, particularly where his collection dialogues with the Kaluz Collection.