José Clemente Orozco Dive Bomber and Tank 1940

  • MoMA, Floor 5, 522 The Alfred H. Barr, Jr. Galleries

This work was commissioned by the Museum in 1940 for the landmark exhibition Twenty Centuries of Mexican Art. It was painted by Orozco over a period of ten days, often in front of the viewing public.This six-panel fresco (intended to be arranged in any order) depicts abstracted elements of mechanical warfare, including the tail and wings of a bomber, tanktreads, and chains—as well as a pair of upturned human legs. Ironically, though, Orozco insisted it had "no political significance." He stated, "I simply paint the life that is going on at the present—what we are and what the world is at this moment. That is what modern art is."

Gallery label from 2006
Fresco, six panels
Each 9' x 36" (275 x 91.4 cm), overall 9 x 18' (275 x 550 cm)
Commissioned through the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Fund
Object number
© 2024 José Clemente Orozco / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / SOMAAP, Mexico
Painting and Sculpture

Installation views

We have identified these works in the following photos from our exhibition history.

How we identified these works

In 2018–19, MoMA collaborated with Google Arts & Culture Lab on a project using machine learning to identify artworks in installation photos. That project has concluded, and works are now being identified by MoMA staff.

If you notice an error, please contact us at [email protected].


If you would like to reproduce an image of a work of art in MoMA’s collection, or an image of a MoMA publication or archival material (including installation views, checklists, and press releases), please contact Art Resource (publication in North America) or Scala Archives (publication in all other geographic locations).

MoMA licenses archival audio and select out of copyright film clips from our film collection. At this time, MoMA produced video cannot be licensed by MoMA/Scala. All requests to license archival audio or out of copyright film clips should be addressed to Scala Archives at [email protected]. Motion picture film stills cannot be licensed by MoMA/Scala. For access to motion picture film stills for research purposes, please contact the Film Study Center at [email protected]. For more information about film loans and our Circulating Film and Video Library, please visit

If you would like to reproduce text from a MoMA publication, please email [email protected]. If you would like to publish text from MoMA’s archival materials, please fill out this permission form and send to [email protected].


This record is a work in progress. If you have additional information or spotted an error, please send feedback to [email protected].