Luis Ortíz Monasterio , 1906 - 1990

Luis Ortiz Monasterio was born in Mexico City on August 23, 1906. Sculptor and teacher. He studied at the Escuela Nacional de Bellas Artes (1921–24) under Ignacio Asúnsolo. He visited California between 1924 and 1926, where he encountered contemporary trends. On returning to Mexico in 1931 he was appointed to teach ‘talla directa’, sculpting directly in stone, at the Escuela Nacional de Artes Plásticas, continuing until 1962. His creative ability and originality are best seen in his more personal creations. In the 1930s he produced sensual stone sculptures such as La Victoria, 1935; by 1943 he was incorporating colour into his designs. He produced a number of polychromed terracotta sculptures, including Maternidad. He also executed some important public monuments, including the fountain of Nezahualcoyotl (1956) in Chapultepec, Mexico City; the sculptures (1962) in the Unidad Habitacional Independencia, Mexico City; and a sculpture (1963) in the National Medical Centre, Mexico City, in which he dealt with historical themes. Ortiz Monasterio maintained a constant interest in using diverse materials and in pursuing new forms of expression; he expressed nationalist sentiments through his use of Pre-Columbian sources. In the 1960s he preferred polychromed concrete and bronze in his personal work and adopted an almost abstract geometric approach. He died in Mexico City on February 16, 1990.