Juan Soriano, Mexican (1920 - 2006)

One of Mexico's most important modern artists, Juan Soriano (1920 - 2006) served as a link between the nationalist imagery of the Mexican muralists and the experimental vanguard of the 1950s and 1960s known as La Ruptura. Juan Soriano was born in Guadalajara, son of veterans of the Mexican revolution. Something of a prodigy, he developed his distinctive style after moving to Mexico City when he was fifteen.

The Institute of Fine Arts compared Soriano with Mexican greats Diego Rivera, Frida Kahlo and Maria Izquierdo.

Soriano was a member of the League of Revolutionary Writers and Artists, a group that opposed Nazism and fascism in Europe and spoke out against alleged injustices by the U.S. government in Latin America, particularly in Central America.

In the 1950s, he traveled to Italy, where he was inspired by the classic artists. He also lived in France, whose government awarded him with the Legion of Honor in 2004.

In his painting, Soriano experimented with the figurative and the abstract, and showed a preference for portraits and self-portraits. He then moved on to sculptures, first in terra cottas and ceramics and later in bronze.

In an interview with the Mexican newspaper La Jornada in June 2005, Soriano said he experienced his first artistic revelation "when I began to become a person ... and started thinking for myself."

He said he discovered he "was capable of making things exist that didn't exist before, only because I created them."

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