Wednesday, September 28, 2011
At a recent show, a visitor recommended that I look up the work of Spanish-Mexican painter Remedios Varo, as my felt scarves reminded her of the forms and fashions used in her surrealist paintings. This is the kind of thing that rocks my world: discovering/learning through the art process. Her work feels very familiar to me and I very much appreciate the implied mystery or story behind the images, the textural paintwork and the airy and moving sense of weight, or lack thereof, as the figures float through the composition. I think the forms of the wearables pictured certainly speaks to a sense of fashion, theater and parable that makes my heart go all a’pitter-patter.
A few more that I don’t have titles for at present but that really spark the imagination:
This might be called Encuentro
This might be called The Red Woman
About Remedios Varo from Wikipedia
Remedios Varo Uranga (December 16, 1908 – October 8, 1963) was a Spanish-Mexican, para-surrealist painter and anarchist. She was born María de los Remedios Varo Uranga in Anglès, Girona, Spain in 1908. During theSpanish Civil War she fled to Paris where she was greatly influenced by the surrealist movement. She met her second husband (the first was Gerardo Lizarraga, a painter), the French surrealist poet Benjamin Péret in Barcelona. There she was a member of the art group Logicophobiste. They were introduced through a mutual friendship with the Surrealist artist Oscar Dominguez.
In 1937, she moved to Paris with Péret, sealing herself from any return to Franco’s Spain since she had republican ties. She was forced into exile from Paris during the Nazi occupation of France and moved to Mexico City at the end of 1941. She initially considered Mexico a temporary haven, but would remain in Latin America for the rest of her life.
In Mexico, she met native artists such as Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera, but her strongest ties were to other exiles and expatriates, notably the English painterLeonora Carrington and the French pilot and adventurer, Jean Nicolle. Her third, and last, marriage was to Walter Gruen, an Austrian who had endured concentration camps before escaping Europe. Gruen believed fiercely in Varo, and he gave her the support that allowed her to fully concentrate on her painting.
After 1949 Varo developed her mature style, which remains beautifully enigmatic and instantly recognizable. She often worked in oil on masonite panels she prepared herself. Although her colors have the blended resonance of the oil medium, her brushwork often involved many fine strokes of paint laid closely together – a technique more reminiscent of egg tempera. She died at the height of her career from a heart-attack in Mexico City in 1963.
Her work continues to achieve successful retrospectives at major sites in Mexico and the United States.