The Four Faces of UNAM

Around the Central Library at Ciudad Universitaria at UNAM in Mexico, each face is decorated in detailed murals. Created by artist and architect Juan O’Gorman, around four thousand square metres of mosaics depict four destinct times.

The north face highlights Mexico’s pre-hispanic past, depicting deities and the duality of life and death, whilst the south face shows Mexico’s colonial history. The east face demonstrates elements of modern Mexico, referencing the revolution, whilst the west celebrates the university.

Each piece is made with millions of stones from all around the country, an idea O’Gorman had had from the outset, and a technique he was already familiar with. The result is striking, with dusty blues contrasting against ochres, whites, and deep reds.

There are many more murals around the university, each with its own message, material, and attitude. Find out about some of them here.

A new post by Hanna Simpson, Diary of a Tile Addict, October 2021.

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