Monday, December 14, 2009

25_Inspiration and examples

Richard Wright won the 2009 Turner Prize for a gold leafed fresco this year.

However, I found no frescoes in Arizona. I even trekked over the border to Magdalena, Sonora, because I heard about a possible fresco there, but it was not fresco. However, I later discovered online that they are painting frescoes at Alamos, deeper into Sonora, near Hermosillo.

The mural in at the Municipal Palace in Magdalena, by Miguel Grijalva, seemed to be painted in acrylics:

I read about a fresco in the Tucson Weekly, and heard about another fresco that was created and destroyed recently in Tucson.

Inside the Wells Fargo Bank in downtown Tucson, there is a beautiful mural painted in 1955 by Jay Datus, surely influenced by the great Mexican artist Saturnino Herran, as Gonzalo pointed out. It is not fresco, but inspiring nevertheless for its scale, color, composition, and how it integrates into the architecture. Jay Datus also painted murals in oil in Arizona State Capitol in 1938. The murals he painted for the First National Bank of Arizona in downtown Phoenix, are current stored in the basement of the Arizona Museum of Natural History in Mesa.

Mural series in the Arizona State Capitol:

This pthalo blue tube of oil paint shows that Jay Datus did not paint the Arizona Capitol murals in fresco:

Also in Phoenix, I saw inspiring graffiti murals by El Mac.


There are frescoes in other parts of the Southwest.

Frederico Vigil is currently painting a large fresco in Albuquerque in the Torreon at the Hispanic National Cultural Center. Just outside of Albuquerque, Stephen Bennett is showing several frescoes in Corrales.

I visited an old WPA fresco by Taos resident Howard Cook, in downtown San Antonio, inside the main post office:

Diego Rivera painted frescoes in San Francisco, such as the one in the San Francisco Art Institute, and another at the City College of San Francisco, originally painted for the Golden Gate International Exhibit in 1940. The frescoes in Coit Tower are not his.


The renown lithographer Ernest DeSoto talked about the famous Mexican Muralists, Los Tres Grandes, when I interviewed him at The Drawing Studio in Tucson in the fall of 2009. He assisted Siqueiros with his mural at San Miguel de Allende, and knew Orozco in Guadalajara, and met Diego Rivera:

1 comment:

  1. Just so you know, the blue tube of paint you saw at the exhibit of the Datus murals in the Arizona State Library, was merely representational. I did the exhibit. But you are correct, Datus did not, to my knowledge, do fresco painting. He used oils on canvas for all of this murals.