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Orozco’s Bleak Vision

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Altoon Sultan visits José Clemente Orozco's fresco cycle The Epic of American Civilization at Dartmouth College.

Sultan writes: "I first saw [the cycle] about 15 years ago and was taken aback by its aggressive form and structure and its fierce imagery. At the time, the college seemed almost embarrassed by the murals: tables were drawn up close to the paintings; no one seemed to be paying them any attention. When I revisited them recently, this had changed; the paintings were roped off so you could see them clearly… One of the great treats for me in seeing this emotionally difficult mural cycle was getting a close view of the free brushstrokes, and seeing the boundaries of each day's work as evidenced by raised lines moving across the surface."

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