Distinguished Speaker Series lecture with Cuauhtémoc Medina
Designing an Era: Vicente Rojo’s Role in Mexican Culture
Registration Link: https://bit.ly/3I4mppE
Mexicans from the second half of the 20th century were likely to have found a common element in the identity of the posters, book covers and cultural supplements and magazines they consumed: most of them were likely to have been designed by the same hand: painter, designer and editor Vicente Rojo (1932-2021). Few times in history, a single person has been so influential in creating the visual culture of an era, as Rojo was for Mexican culture. Vicente Rojo, a Catalan emigré that moved to Mexico in 1949 escaping from Franco's dictatorship in Spain, conceived graphic design as a form of cultural service, radically opposed to his devotion to abstract painting that he understood as a radically non-committed and personal practice. This talk will examine Vicente Rojo´s leading role as the provider of an aesthetic semblance for dominant Mexican modern culture, the distant dialogue between his painting and design, with particular emphasis in his artist books collaborations with writers such as Octavio Paz, José Emilio Pacheco or José Miguel Ullan.
Cuauhtémoc Medina (Mexico City, December 5 1965)
Art critic, curator and historian, holds a Ph.D. in History and Theory of Art from the University of Essex in Britain. Since 1993 he has been a full time researcher at the Instituto de Investigaciones Estéticas at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) and between 2002 and 2008 was the first Associate Curator of Art Latin American Collections at the Tate Modern. He is currently Chief Curator at the MUAC Museum in Mexico city.
In 2012, Medina was Head Curator of the Manifesta 9 Biennial in Genk, Belgium, titled The Deep of the Modern, in association with Katerina Gregos and Dawn Ades. In 2018 he was chief curator of the 12th Shanghai Biennial titled “Progress. Art in the age of historical ambivalence” at the Power Station of Art.
In 2012 he became the sixth recipient of the Walter Hopps Award for Curatorial Achievement of the Menil Foundation. Among many publications he has recently published a collection of his essays on Mexican art titled: Abuso Mutuo (Mutual Abuse), RM and Cubo Blanco, 2017 and the book Olinka: El sueño del Dr. Atl in 2019.