Biography

Born: El Paso, Texas, 1940

Died: Hondo, New Mexico, 2006

Luis Jimènez is known primarily for his large-scale public sculptures. His subject matter reflects his Hispanic roots and his experiences growing up in the southwestern United States. A prolific printmaker as well as sculptor, Jimènez frequently uses prints both as studies for sculpture projects and as original image statements. Jimènez graduated from the University of Texas at Austin in 1964 with a Bachelor of Science degree in art and architecture. He has had numerous solo exhibitions in museums and galleries throughout the United States. Jimènez also received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the American Academy in Rome.

“Jimènez creates monumental sculpture for major urban centers, stylized figures of cowboys and Indians, borderland Hispanics and high-plains sodbusters built of fiberglass and spray-painted in the vibrant, high-gloss colors of hot-rod cars.  Drawing imagery straight from the red-blooded heart of American mythology, he evokes such fine art traditions as equestrian sculpture or the Pieta in a style reminiscent of Depression-era social realism and in a mode that might be termed heroic.”

– William Clark, Albuquerque Journal, 1989

Artist Statement

Statement for Tan Lejos de Dios; Tan Cercas de los Estados Unidos

(So Far From God; So Close to the United States)

This uncompromising border image is rendered in the narrative montage style common in Mexican murals.  It was drawn on a single large stone with a broken edge that Luis used to create the profile of the mountains on the Mexico/El Paso border.  It vividly depicts real events that occur daily along that frontier while drawing on references to archetypal images from classic Mexican and Western European art history (ie:  Delacroix’s Liberty Leading the People…except in this case she’s running away toward a razor wire fence that she can’t cross).  We believe that this print, with its non-romaticized and unflinching manner, is a small but powerful piece of Mexican and American art history.