The Hanged


Octavio Medellín ( American, born Mexico, 1907 - 1999 )

c. 1939
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General Description

Octavio Medellín was brought to the United States at the age of thirteen to escape the ravages of the Mexican Civil War. He attended the Art Institute of Chicago before traveling intermittently to Mexico, where he became reacquainted with the Maya-Toltec cultures, from which he would draw inspiration and garner his artistic heritage. The Hanged One was sculpted at a time when Medellín’s work was becoming nationally recognized. Inspired by memories of his youth, the work may symbolize Mexico's effort to free itself of centuries of colonial subjugation and to find its own democratic path, a struggle that Medellín witnessed firsthand.

Excerpt from

Erin Piñon, Tower Gallery: Latin American Art, Label text, 2017.