Vicente Rojo, ochenta años viviendo en carmesí

©Foto: Graciela Sánchez Silva

Por Graciela Sánchez Silva

Cuando era niño le amarraron la mano izquierda para que aprendiera a usar la diestra, mas eso no evitó que colores, pinceles y lápices desfilaran por la extremidad en cuanto esta se veía liberada. Ahora, mano zurda y niño cumplen ochenta años. Tiempo de sobra para que Vicente Rojo Almazán (Barcelona, 1932) sea considerado uno de los más grandes artistas plásticos de nuestro país.

Su obra puede dividirse en dos grandes rubros: su labor como artista plástico y como diseñador gráfico. En el primero se le sitúa dentro de la “Generación de la Ruptura” —la que él prefiere llamar “de la apertura”—, al lado de artistas como Manuel Felguérez, José Luis Cuevas, Roger von Gunten y Francisco Toledo.

La labor plástica de Rojo se ha dividido en grandes series: “Aproximaciones”, “Señales”, “Negaciones”, “Recuerdos”, “México bajo la lluvia”, “Escenarios” y “Escrituras”. Sus lienzos se agrupan en derredor de formas geométricas básicas, se basan en el manejo de la línea o toman como referencia las letras del alfabeto.

Como él mismo ha mencionado, casi siempre trabaja en varios cuadros al mismo tiempo, lo que le resta presión a cada uno y al final le permite conformar series que hablan al espectador de un mismo tema, o tienen orígenes creativos similares.

En “México bajo la lluvia”, por ejemplo, Rojo traza finas líneas diagonales de distintas gamas tonales que otorgan dinamismo a la obra y que simulan caer desde arriba para luego convertirse en otras. Los colores utilizados, generalmente fríos, contrastan con los detalles en rojo.

Pero su trabajo —especialmente en diseño gráfico— no podría explicarse sin la existencia de Miguel Prieto, a quien ha reconocido como su primer maestro. Prieto le mostró las ventajas de la sobriedad y la sutileza; lo tomó como aprendiz y asistente, para luego dejarlo en lugar suyo cuando éste tuvo que retirarse de México en la Cultura a mediados de la década de los cincuenta.

Fue en dicho suplemento que Vicente Rojo conoció a algunos de sus amigos más cercanos: Fernando Benítez —a quien considera su segundo maestro—, José Emilio Pacheco, Carlos Monsiváis, Carlos Fuentes, Jorge Ibargüengoitia y Juan García Ponce.

Salido de esta gran generación, Rojo permaneció en el universo cultural hasta que en 1960 se convirtió en uno de los fundadores de Ediciones Era, sello que lleva en la segunda letra la inicial de su apellido. Junto a Neus Espresate y José Azorín, los tres exiliados españoles dieron nombre a la casa de libros que publicaría los primeros volúmenes de autores como José Emilio Pacheco y Gabriel García Márquez.

Su trayectoria en Era le otorgó una enorme libertad creativa en la realización de portadas y viñetas para los libros; en las cuales se observan características similares a las empleadas en sus pinturas: color carmín, formas básicas, sencillez aparente.

En las cubiertas diseñadas por Rojo se puede observar un balance entre el uso de espacios en blanco y el peso de la tipografía, tendencia heredada de Miguel Prieto la cual modificó hasta imprimirle un estilo propio. Cualquiera que se haya asomado a su universo plástico puede fácilmente distinguir sus creaciones, aun con la evolución propia del tiempo.

El aprendizaje que obtuvo en México en la Cultura y en La Cultura en México fueron fundamentales para que no olvidara nunca la relevancia del diseño en interiores; las cajas tipográficas, la importancia del tamaño de la letra o el espacio entre líneas nunca fueron circunstancias menores para el artista.

Ahora, décadas después de aquél intento por “corregir” su manía por la mano izquierda, Vicente Rojo ha demostrado una profunda libertad que ha allanadado el camino para las nuevas propuestas en el diseño y las artes plásticas: como pintor, grabador o escultor. Esa mano zurda, venida de España, mexicana por derecho, confirma hoy que la verdadera independencia sólo se ejerce cuando se ha perdido, y recuperado.

RMM/GSS

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