Luis Jimenez

Luis Jimenez or Luis A. Jiménez, Jr. was an American sculptor of Mexican descent. He was born in El Paso, Texas, and died in New Mexico. He studied art and architecture at the University of Texas in Austin and El Paso, earning a bachelor's degree in 1964. His post-graduate work was at Ciudad Universitaria, Mexico City, D.F. in 1966. He became an accomplished artist and taught art at the University of Arizona and later the University of Houston. For over 30 years, Jimenez produced a consistent body of work informed by his highly developed craft skills, knowledge of art history and his own placement in time. Jimenez was known for his large polychromed fiberglass sculptures usually of Southwestern and Hispanic themes. His works were often controversial and eminently recognizable because of their themes and the bright, colorful undulating surfaces that Jiménez employed. John Yau observes that one of the underlying reasons his public sculptures have been controversial is because he keeps bringing into view that which has been overlooked; he keeps reminding us that our history is made up of many points of view, many tales and tellings. A reexamination of the context and purpose of public sculpture and the making(writing) and remaking(rewriting) of the untold tales and popular myths about the formation of the continually changing American West. He was influenced by the murals of José Clemente Orozco and Diego Rivera. Jimenez is very much a contemporary artist whose roots are in pop art, as much as they are in both the modernism of the Mexican muralists and the regionalism of Benton and Grant Wood. Heroic sculptures are Mr. Jimenez’ forte, but his art is for the people. Proud of his Chicano heritage and working-class background, he champions the common man. Working in his father's shop, making neon signs, as well as lowrider car culture, featuring brightly painted fiberglass bodywork, were also artistic influences. He unapologetically finds his images in stereotypes and magnifies those stereotypes into a kind of celebration. As much as anything, what makes Jimenez’ sculpture alive, what makes it sculptural, it also gives life to Olmec heads, Aztec serpents, and the statues of Rodin, and the totems of David Smith: movement. Read more from Wikipedia →

Works by this artist in other museums: the Art Institute of Chicago, the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the Museum of Modern Art in New York.