This centennial exhibition celebrates the legacy of Carlos Cortéz Koyokuikatl (1923-2005), one of Chicago’s most important social justice artists working in the 20th century. Often a poet, often a printmaker, but always an activist, Cortéz’s life’s work uplifted the working class, marginalized communities, and social struggles by depicting scenes of labor disputes, protests, and ignored historical events and individuals.
Carlos Cortéz, an artist, poet, labor journalist, citizen activist, conscientious objector and Elder in his community, would have been 100-years-old in August 2023. He continues to hold an exceptionally dear place in the hearts of many artists and organizers, and in the history of the National Museum of Mexican Art. Cortéz used his printing press, Gato Negro, as a means to communicate messages of justice, activism, and solidarity, while his poetry repeatedly aimed to raise awareness, provoke thought, and inspire action regarding issues of inequality and oppression.
The National Museum of Mexican Art is honored to be the steward of the Carlos Cortéz Archives.
Curated by Cesáreo Moreno
Carlos Cortéz 100 AÑOS is part of Art Design Chicago, a citywide collaboration initiated by the Terra Foundation for American Art that highlights the city’s artistic heritage and creative communities.
Carlos Cortéz 100 AÑOS is funded by the Terra Foundation for American Art.
Rene H. Arceo
Margaret T. Burroughs (1915-2010)
Carlos Cortéz (1923-2005)
Nicolás De Jesús
Eric J. García
José Luis Gutiérrez
Salvador Jiménez -Flores
Alfredo Martínez Galván
John Pitman Weber
Anna Marie Sánchez Varela
Maria Cristina Tavera
Benjamín P. Varela
José “Fugi” Almanza
Alex “Sunheart” Galindo
Allan Lee Koss
Jeffry D. Scott
Take Home a Carlos Cortéz Reprint
The National Museum of Mexican Art is pleased to release three reprints of some of Carlos Cortéz’s best works for sale. Cortéz entrusted his art and effects - including most of his print blocks - to the Museum. In keeping with his values, Cortéz requested NMMA to create new prints should his artwork become unaffordable to working people.
NMMA commissioned the Instituto Gráfico de Chicago printmaking collective to recreate three of Carlos Cortéz's iconic print blocks in order to make new copies. All proceeds raised from the print sales will support Yollocalli Arts Reach, NMMA's award-winning youth initiative located in Chicago's Little Village neighborhood.
Purchase a print for a friend, a family member, a client or for your own wall and support Yollocalli youth programming in Little Village! These numbered prints out of a series of 100 will come with a Certificate of Authenticity from NMMA.
Please note: Please contact Lisa Polderman at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions or if you would like your unframed print shipped.
The Terra Foundation for American Art
Gaylord & Dorothy Donnelley Foundation
The Joyce Foundation
Prince Charitable Trust
Chicago Park District
Illinois Arts Council Agency