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Pajaro XIII by Juan Soriano

Photos: ©UNAM

Pajaro XIII is a monumental sculpture on the grounds of University City, the main campus of the National Autonomous University of Mexico. Dedicated in 2007, the work was placed just one year after the artist’s death.

  • Juan Francisco Rodríguez Montoya (1920–2006) was a celebrated artist known popularly as Juan Soriano. He was acclaimed for painting, sculpture, and his work in the theater. Educated by groups of artists who took him in as a child prodigy, he began working especially in monumental sculpture while living in Rome between 1969 and 1975. Well before that, he’d exhibited all over Mexico, and in Europe and the United States. Later inducted into France’s Legion of Honour, he’d long since won Mexico’s National Art Prize. He’d first exhibited at the UNAM in 1936.

Pajaro XIII stands at five meters tall. The artist prodced a series of the same sculpture in the last years of his life. Others in the series are on exhibit at the Cité universitaire in Paris and in the collection of the Reina Sofía, the National Art Museum of Spain. The artist’s other birds are neary ubiquitous in major collections in Europe and the United States.

The work shouldn’t be confused with the other nearby sculptures, most importantly those in the Sculpture Space of the University Culture Center immediately to the south and east. Those of the Ruta de la Amistad begin here, with Germán Cueto’s Hombre corriendo. But that series of works is mostly concentrated at the very south of the CU campus at the intersection of Insurgentes Sur with the Periférico Sur highway.

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