April 12, 2017

Block Printmaker (Cortés) Juárez

        Erasto Cortés Juárez (Mexico, 1900-1972) like many of the Mexican printmakers of the twentieth century, did a lot of political art, including portraits of many of his political heroes.  This first piece is particularly polished and detailed.  It’s got an interesting composition in which scenes or symbols from the subject’s life blend with the landscape background.  I like the  beautiful shading of his face, and how the use of the multi-line engraving tool in the collar and lower right give a softer look than is usual in woodcuts.
        As always, however, I prefer pieces that are more universal than political art can be.  This portrait of the artist’s mother is unusual and interesting for showing her from the back so that we can’t see her face.  She seems to be watching the caged bird and isn’t doing anything else  but simply sitting quietly.
        I was especially pleased to find a collection of animals, always a favorite subject of mine.   Isn’t the monkey fun?
        Cortés Juárez was not only a printmaker himself, but was a teacher and collector of wood block prints, and was instrumental in promoting printmaking in Mexico as a “missionary of engraving.”  (A note: I think his name should really be alphabetized under C for Cortés Juárez, but I wasn’t in the mood for my other J options as much as him, so I’m stretching the point.  He has still got a J surname, after all.)

        Here are the few J printmakers previously featured in this blog:

        By the way, if you’re here through the A-Z Blog Challenge, this is the post where the bloggers following the proper schedule catch up with my modified schedule.  From here on my letters will fall behind the official A-Z Challenge calendar.  Don’t worry, I’ll still post every letter of my alphabet, and I’ll still link my posts to the correct letters; I’ll just be doing it a little late.  Please keep dropping by this blog to discover my remaining block print artists.

[Pictures: The Guerrilla Fighter Aureliano Rivera, wood engraving by Erasto Cortés Juárez, 1951 (Image from Cleveland Museum of Art);
Mi Madre (My Mother), wood engraving by Cortés Juárez, 1965 (Image from Colección Blaisten);
El Mono (The Monkey), wood block print by Cortés Juárez from Fisonomias de Animales, 1950 (Image from Museo de Arte Carrillo Gil).]

A-Z Challenge, all posts for the letter J


Kristin said...

I am sure that J for the last name counts! I like the print of the mother too. I will keep dropping by.

Finding Eliza

Anne E.G. Nydam said...

Thanks! I'll still be visiting the other A-Z blogs, too! =)