Teachers' School , Mexico City, 1960
Architect: Mario Pani
Painter: José Clemente Orozco
Sculptor: Luis Ortiz Monestorio
Although this school was not built recently it remains
one of the best examples of the functional use of a
work of art and of the beneficial influence that art and
architecture can have on each other. The giant mural
by Orazco, one of his lost and best works, is used
here as a backdrop for the stage of the triangular
open air theater flanked by the classroom wings of
the school. The galleries of these wings create a
series of horizontal lines that converge upon the stage
wall, enhancing the mural as the focal point of the
composition. Even the red brick of the building
matches the large red areas of the mural painted with
ethyl silicate on the concrete wall.
For the Mexican "social-realist" school, the subject
of Orozco's mural is a classical one: the struggle
against the darkness of the past, and the emergence
into an ideal enlightened future. However, unlike most
Mexican murals, this one develops its theme not by
depicting heroes and giant monsters, but by a rich
composition made up of semi-abstract shapes. It
clearly illustrates the evolution of Orozco's style as it
manifested itself toward the end of his life.
The baroque door at the center of the stage was
part of the old structure that was replaced by the new
building, and has been kept as a memorial. Open Forum of the University of Concepción, Chile, 1962
Architect: Emilio Duhart
Painter: Mario Carreño
Sculptor: Samuel Roman
This Open Forum, or Central Plaza, is located in the
center of the university campus. It is a meeting place
for students and can accommodate 4,000 spectators
at academic ceremonies, theatrical productions, concarts, film showings and the like. In designing this
plaza, Emilio Duhart has not merely provided a simple
open area but has created a plastic architectural and
artistic composition that will become the center of
visual attraction at the university. The three levels of
the plaza are emphasized by various paving textures
and by a color scheme that ranges from the cool blues
and greens of the sunken area to the warm reds and
yellows of the high terrace. At the far end of the
plaza, Samuel Roman's monument to the founder of
the university will be placed above a waterfall created
by a series of gargoyles projecting from the wall. The
opposite end of the plaza will be closed by a 120-foot-
long double-faced free-standing mural called the
"Sun Wall." The striking design by Mario Carreño
will be executed in glazed brick, some of it extending
beyond the face of the wall. The two exposed sides
of the bricks, glazed in different colors, will produce a
dynamic affect on spectators walking in front of the
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Book title: Art in Latin American Architecture.
Contributors: Paul F. Damaz - Author.
Publisher: Reinhold Publishing.
Place of publication: New York.
Publication year: 1963.
Page number: 129.
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