Tokenhouse VI: Orozco, Rivera

Glober looks at Tokenhouse’s paintings and asks” “Do I detect the influence of Diego Rivera, Mr. Tokenhouse? … Or is it José Clemente Orozco, who did those frescoes at Dartmouth?” [TK 148/141]

Liberation of the Peon Diego Rivera, 1923, 1931 fresco, 73 x 94 in The Philadelphia Museum of Art © 2014 Banco de México Diego Rivera Frida Kahlo Museums Trust, Mexico, D.F. / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York photo courtesy of www.diegorivera.org

Liberation of the Peon
Diego Rivera, 1923, 1931
fresco, 73 x 94 in
The Philadelphia Museum of Art
© 2014 Banco de México Diego Rivera Frida Kahlo Museums Trust, Mexico, D.F. / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
photo courtesy of http://www.diegorivera.org

Diego Rivera (1886-1957) is the best known of the Mexican muralists who covered walls in Mexico and elsewhere with a sophisticated blend of Social Realism and European high Modernism, showing the life of the downtrodden and poor. Tokenhouse was “in ecstasies” when Glober made the connection, because Rivera was a Marxist and champion of peasants and other workers. His fresco Man at the Crossroads was commissioned for Rockefeller Center in New York but was chiseled off the wall because of its controversial political themes including an image of Lenin.  Liberation of the Peon (above) shows Rivera’s depiction of Mexican revolutionaries trying to help a tortured peon.

Gods of the Modern World Jose Clemente Orozco, 1932-4 fresco from The Epic of American Civilization Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire photo in public domain from Wikimedia Commons by GNU Free Documentation License

Gods of the Modern World
José Clemente Orozco, 1932-4
fresco from The Epic of American Civilization
Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire
photo in public domain from Wikimedia Commons by GNU Free Documentation License

José Clemente Orozco (1883-1949), was another of the Mexican muralists;  his work often illustrated the lives of the poor and oppressed.  Between 1932 and 1934 he painted a series of frescoes at Dartmouth college, showing the history of the Western Hemisphere from before the Aztecs through industrialization.  Powell might have seen these frescoes when he lectured at Dartmouth in 1962; today, the Dartmouth Digital Orozco allows you to explore all 360 degrees of the room full of frescoes.

Powell has drawn a comic caricature of Tokenhouse in Venice, quite different from Tokenhouse before the war.  Despite his intellect, he is naive, easily flattered, easily duped, with a political monomania that distorts his artistry.

 

 

Advertisements
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s