|Remedios Varo "Creation of the Birds" 1957 location unknown|
The artist Remedios Varo's life was almost as surreal as was her work, shrouded in layers of complexity and uncertainty. Varo (1908-1963) was born as María de los Remedios Alicia Rodriga Varo y Uranga in a small town in Spain. She studied in Madrid at the Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando, and married painter Gerardo Lizarraga. The couple left the country during the Spanish Civil War, and headed to Paris where they enthusiastically dove in to the heady artistic and intellectual milieu of that era. Varo eventually left her husband, and re-married, this time to the french surrealist poet Benjamin Péret. Oddly, after Varo's death it was discovered that she had not in fact actually divorced her first husband, leading to a complex web of legal issues surrounding ownership of her estate which I understand persists to this day.
During the 1940 Nazi invasion of Paris Varo fled to Mexico City where she lived the remainder of her life. She met many of the well-known Mexican intelligentsia and artists but was more fully immersed in the substantial expatriate community. She became good friends with English surrealist painter Leonora Carrington, and also met her third "husband", Walter Gruen, who championed her in every way, both emotionally and financially, to such an extent that she was able to concentrate on her work in a way she had not been able to manage before. Much of her finest and richest work comes from this latest period in her life.
|Remedios Varo Drawing for "Creation of the Birds" 1957|