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Tertulia de Gigantes, Joop Beljon

Tertulia de Gigantes

Tertulia de Gigantes, the “Gathering of the Giants,” is the 1968 work of Dutch Artist, Joop Beljon. Originally it was station number 14 along the Ruta de la Amistad.

It’s perhaps one of the least understood, but also one of the most instantly recognizable of the series of monumental sculptures. One might ask if that’s because of the color choices, made not by Beljon, but by Mathias Goeritz. The organizer of the entire giant sculpture display, Goeritz seems to have steered Beljon well away from the sculptor’s far more organic color palette.

  • Johannes Jacobus (Joop) Beljon (1922–2002) was born in Haarlem in the Netherlands. A professor of Industrial Design, Beljon was, perhaps interestingly, a student of lapidary inscriptions and he particpated in many typographic projects. He later became director of the Royal Academy of Fine and Applied Arts in The Hague.

Beljon’s work here consists of seven figures, the tallest is 10 meters in height. These are arranged over a simple ground plan and each makes reference to ancient Mesoamerican building styles and techniques.

For all of the route’s contradictions, Beljon did likely engage with ancient Mexican history more than did the others, and certainly, more than Goeritz himself. But for Goeritz’s color choices, the Tertulia de Gigantes might still be one of the favorites along the route.

How to get here
  • Calz México-Xochimilco/Viaducto de Tlalpan, Col. Huipulco, Alc. Tlalpan, 14370 CDMX

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