Encyclopedia of the Great Plains

David J. Wishart, Editor

JIMENEZ, LUIS (b. 1940)

Luis Alfonso Jimenez Jr., one of the Americas' most important Hispanic artists, was born on July 14, 1940, in El Paso, Texas. He received a bachelor of science degree in art and architecture from the University of Texas in 1964. The same year, he attended Ciudad Universitaria, Mexico. He has been awarded the prestigious Mid-Career Fellowship Awards at the American Academy in Rome and the National Endowment for the Arts, and the American Institute of Architects Environmental Improvement Award for Vaquero, his work of sculpture in Moody Park, Houston, Texas. Numerous other commissions and exhibitions are at institutions such as the National Museum of American Art, Washington DC; New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art; the Art Institute of Chicago; the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth; the San Antonio Museum of Arts; and the Sheldon Memorial Art Gallery, University of Nebraska–Lincoln.

Jimenez's technique in creating monumental sculptures was learned in the workshop of his father, a sign painter and neon sign maker. He is widely known for his large, public, fiberglass sculptures that are based on a contemporary language and convey a "Tex-Mex" flavor, inviting spirited dialogue not only about their subject matter but also their medium. He incorporates age-old Chicano and Mexican icons that can be thought of in a more popular idiom, and he challenges accepted notions of the definition of art. His vigorous, gestural drawings also are full of a sense of pride in his Latino heritage.

Karen O. Janovy University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Zamudio-Taylor, Victor. "Chicano Art." In Latin American Art in the Twentieth Century, edited by Edward J. Sullivan. London: Phaidon Press, 1996: 318–21.

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