Remedios Varo: The Mexican Years

Apr 2, 2013 4:49PM

Remedios Varo: The Mexican Years is a definitive reconnaissance of the life and work of this appealingly mysterious Surrealist painter. Varo received her earliest training in Madrid until the Spanish Civil War forced her to flee in 1937 when she joined Surrealist circles in Paris. After the outbreak of World War II she took refuge in Mexico, where she remained until her untimely death in 1963. It was her that she created her most enduring and subtly penetrating work. One of the three so-called “brujas” (witches) active in the Mexico City art milieu, Varo shared an interest in esotericism with fellow painter Leonora Carrington and a variety of interests ranging from science and philosophy to literature of German Romanticism with the photographer Kati Horna. From the mid–1950s until her death in 1963, Varo enslaved herself to the creation of her phenomenal, dreamlike oeuvre that walks the tightrope between mysticism and modernity. Her exquisitely constructed images of medieval interiors, occult workshops and androgynous figures engaged in alchemical pursuits evoke the eerie allegories of Hieronymus Bosch, esoteric engravings and the charm and allure of fairytales. This catalogue includes a complete illustrated chronology with previously unpublished images and describes Varo’s role in the Mexican Surrealist movement and her relations with Luis Buñuel, Octavio Paz, Benjamin Péret, Alice Rahon, Wolfgang Paalen and many others. Remedios Varo (1908–1963) fled the Spanish Civil War and then World War II to settle in Mexico where she aided the establishment of a Mexican Surrealist movement. She was married to the leading French Surrealist Benjamin Péret. 

Featured image is reproduced from Remedios Varo: The Mexican Years.

Text by Masayo Nonaka.