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The New School presents re-imagining orozco

Exhibition Explores Legacy of University's Orozco Murals Through Work
By Visiting Artist Enrique Chagoya and New School Students


Enrique Chagoya at work on the new commission for the show.

On View:
The Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Gallery

Sheila C. Johnson Design Center

Parsons The New School for Design
66 Fifth Avenue at 13th Street

June 25—September 12, 2010
Opening Reception: June 24, 6:30-8:30 p.m.

NEW YORK, June 4, 2010—The New School Art Collection and the Sheila C. Johnson Design Center at Parsons present Re-Imagining Orozco, a multimedia exhibition exploring the legacy of influential Mexican artist Jose Clemente Orozco’s mural cycle, A Call to Revolution and Table of Universal Brotherhood, at The New School. Coinciding with the Centennial of the Mexican Revolution, the exhibition will run from June 25-September 12, 2010 at the Sheila C. Johnson Design Center at Parsons.

Curated by Silvia Rocciolo and Eric Stark, curators of the New School Art Collection, the exhibition features new work by visiting artist Enrique Chagoya as well as contributions from students and faculty from across The New School. Chagoya, a Mexican-born American artist who teaches at Stanford University, will present new work that responds to the Orozco murals and serves as a catalyst for their contemporary discussion. The Orozco murals, one of the most important works in the New School Art Collection, are one of the few remaining examples of Orozco’s work outside of Mexico and the only public commission by a Mexican muralist left in New York City.

“Chagoya’s work, which combines printmaking, collage and caricature, is rife with humor and presents a searing commentary on everything from racial policy to political aesthetics that cut to the core of this country’s limitations and excesses,” said curators Rocciolo and Stark. “And Chagoya’s affinity with Orozco is well known, making his participation in this project pivotal.” 

Students from across The New School are contributing a series of new works to the exhibition, all inspired by the Orozco murals. From the Parsons design and technology program, students are creating a short, animated film on The Table of the Universal Brotherhood, one of the utopian panels of the mural cycle with contributions from the New School for Social Research, the New School for Drama and the New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music, including composer David Lopato. The Illustration program has used Orozco as the theme for their printmaking curriculum. Chagoya will assemble a codex for the exhibition from the final prints produced by the illustration students. The campus organization Lang College Public Art Squad has created a historic and utopian timeline, while Parsons Product Design students have built a satirical gift shop that critiques the expanding role of merchandising in museum exhibitions.

“The exhibition exposes the rich aesthetic vein in The New School’s history as an educational laboratory,” said Radhika Subramaniam, Director of the Sheila C. Johnson Design Center at Parsons. “Linking the curriculum to an adventurous, politically engaged art practice, it encapsulates our mission to continually blur the divide between the classroom and the gallery.”

Together with Diego Rivera and David Alfaro Siquieros, Orozco is considered one of the “big three” Mexican muralists. Their work inspired the WPA (Works Progress Administration) movement as well as the early development of the abstract expressionists in the United States. Commissioned by New School for Social Research founder Alvin S. Johnson for Joseph Urban’s landmark building at 66 West 12th Street, the New School’s Orozco murals reflected the university’s founding mission as a laboratory for cross-disciplinary thinking and civic engagement.

About the Sheila C. Johnson Design Center
The Sheila C. Johnson Design Center is an award-winning campus center for Parsons The New School for Design that combines learning and public spaces with exhibition galleries to provide an important new downtown destination for art and design programming. The mission of the Center is to generate an active dialogue on the role of innovative art and design in responding to the contemporary world. Its programming encourages an interdisciplinary examination of possibility and process, linking the university to local and global debates. The center is named in honor of its primary benefactor, New School Trustee and Parsons Board Chair Sheila C. Johnson. The design by Lyn Rice Architects is the recipient of numerous awards, including an Honor Award from the American Institute of Architects. For more information, please visit

About Parsons The New School for Design
Parsons The New School for Design is one of the most prestigious and comprehensive institutions of art and design in the world. Located in New York City, Parsons prepares students to creatively and critically address the complex conditions of contemporary global society. Combining rigorous craft with cutting-edge theory and research methods, Parsons encourages collaborative and individual approaches that cut across a wide array of disciplines. For more information, please visit

About The New School Art Collection
The New School Art Collection embodies the legacy of The New School’s historic involvement with the avant-garde in the arts. The collection numbers approximately 1,800 works in various media by emerging and established contemporary artists with an emphasis on works that endeavor to explore the aesthetic and cultural concerns of our times. For more information, please visit