Los Desmenbrados según Orozco, por Roberto Cortázar

Edited By Bernardo Esquinca Azcárate and Sara Gabriela Bas Sánchez

A book printed in conjunction with the exhibition Los Desmenbrados at the National Museum of Mexican Art. This show created a critical conversation between the historic Mexican muralist painter, José Clemente Orozco and Roberto Cortázar, who studied Orozco’s renowned series, Los Teúles. The publication contains four in depth essays; The line, the time and the space by Sara Gabriela Baz Sánchez, Citation, Fragmentation, and Renewal in the works of Roberto Cortázar by Derrick R. Cartwright, Reinventing the Master: Cortázar’s Variations on Orozco’s Themes by Edward Madrid Gómez and Los desmenbrados by Idalia Sautto.

“It is the vocation of the historian bringing to the present both processes and phenomena, rightfully built, that could point us to the clarification, enunciation or redefinition of any condition that deserves to be modified. In this sense, the duty of the historiography carries a heavy burden, if we are to consider that up to it –and of its constant revisions– depends the manner in which a happening or a process is inscribed in the collective memory and allows the reestablishment of the conscience. It is, perhaps, because of this that we, historians, try to give the works, the artists or the processes an accurate classification and adequate place within a great narrative line; with the mere purpose of attributing them a meaning useful within the context in which they are inscribed.” –The line, the time and the space, Sara Gabriela Baz Sánchez

“The works that Cortázar has produced out of this dialogue unsettle us, as they are not always pleasant. Instead they argue passionately for our renewed engagement with the very historical and pictorial legacies to which we, ultimately, owe the contemporary sense of ourselves.

The value of art historical indebtedness that these paintings produce must ultimately be judged by audiences over time and in different spaces. Viewers of this exhibition will have to contend with twin perspectives of reverence and audacity, of the historical image world shot through by citation and fragmentation. In the last instance, we owe a special debt to Roberto Cortázar, who stands out clearly as one of our most philosophically-minded artists.

He has successfully identified a tension in common practices of image making by drawing attention to historical representation’s bearing on our present predicament. Rising above commonplace citation and fragmentation, these images urgently declare that indifference to historical imager is an unacceptable and devastatingly dangerous posture. As such, the artist awakens our responses to what has become all-too-familiar horror, replacing the ennui of historical detachment with a memorable sense of wonder about what it means to be human at the beginning of the 21st century.” –Citation, Fragmentation, and Renewal in the works of Roberto Cortázar, Derrick R. Cartwright

Bernardo Esquinca Azcárate, Sara Gabriela Bas Sánchez (ed), Los Desmenbrados según Orozco, por Roberto Cortázar, INBA, Mexico, 2009

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