El bache

Accession Number

El bache

José Ortega

Artist Nationality
Spanish (culture or style)

Object Creation Date
circa 1952-1953

Medium & Support
woodblock print on paper

7 1/8 in x 5 1/8 in (18.1 cm x 13.02 cm)

Credit Line
Museum Purchase

Subject matter
This is one of a series of ten works created for a portfolio titled "el Terror" or "The Terror." In 1947, Ortega was sentenced to ten years in prison for his anti-Franco activism, though he only served five years. This portfolio was created just after he was resleased from prison and before he left for Paris, where he received a scholarship to take classes at l'Ecole Estionne and la Ecole de beaux arts. In the series of ten prints, his recent prison experiences were highlighted. 
In this, the third of ten prints, the title "The Hole" likely refers to both his time in prison and also the social and economic "hole" that was, for the artist, the current fate of the Spanish people. Here, Ortega depicts a man in everyday garb, pushing against a partially-unseen barrier. 

Physical Description
This woodblock print depicts a man in trousers and a jacket compacted into the space of the print. The man is kneeling on his left knee while his right foot is raised and pushed up against a surface on the left of the image. Both of his arms are raised, with the left jutting out towards the viewer and the palm of his hand is fully visible. The numbered and print is signed (l.c.) "3 Pepe Ortega" in pencil.

Primary Object Classification

Collection Area
Modern and Contemporary

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jails (institutions)
men (male humans)
modern and contemporary art
prisons (institutions)

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& Author Notes

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