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Carlos Cortéz 100 AÑOS

August 13, 2023 – February 18, 2024 Rubin & Paula Torres Gallery
(Detail) Cortéz in front of his mural, Prevent WWIII, on 18th Street, 1980, gelatin silver print. NMMA Permanent Collection, 2005.967. Gift from the Carlos Cortéz Estate

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.

Participating Artists

Jesús Acuña
Saúl Aguirre
Atlan Arceo-Witzl
Rene H. Arceo
Carlos Barberena
Arturo Barrera
Margaret T. Burroughs (1915-2010)
Carlos Cortéz (1923-2005)
Nicolás De Jesús
Héctor Duarte
Mark Ernst
Eric J. García
Eric Gasca
José Luis Gutiérrez
Salvador Jiménez -Flores
Sam Kirk
Edgar López
Faheem Majeed
Cynthia Marris
Nicole Marroquin
Alfredo Martínez Galván
Oscar Moya
Mark Nelson
Antonio Pazarán
Zeke Peña
John Pitman Weber
Eufemio Pulido
Elvia Rodríguez
Favianna Rodríguez
Anna Marie Sánchez Varela
Janet Schill
CHema Skandal!
Diana Solís
Maria Cristina Tavera
Benjamín P. Varela
Salvador Vega
Roman Villarreal
Mirtez Zwierzynski


José “Fugi” Almanza
Sandra Cisneros
Alex “Sunheart” Galindo
J. Gómez
Allan Lee Koss
Mimi Rivera
Jeffry D. Scott
Gordon Wagner

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.

Buy a Print Today

Please note: Please contact Lisa Polderman at with any questions or if you would like your unframed print shipped.

Explore Carlos Cortéz's Artwork


The Terra Foundation for American Art
Gaylord & Dorothy Donnelley Foundation
The Joyce Foundation
Prince Charitable Trust
Chicago Park District
Illinois Arts Council Agency