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In the case of Alice Rahon I have done the most important achievement was to work for the realization of the exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art (Alice Rahon, a surrealist in Mexico), which saw the magic of poetry made paint. She led me to find Wolfgang Paalen, where his work meant an environment involving the surrealist movement as such in Mexico and where little by little I have discovered through its various stages the big changes that his painting of Wolfgang showed in European stage and then made a big change that was his most abstract which was characterized during their stay in Mexico.


In the case of Leonora Carrington and Remedios Varo, there was always a connection that kept me immersed in the magical part involving alchemy, witchcraft and all these spells and potions that resulted in some magnificent works with all these elements, even when the architecture of Remedios Varo was always the most disturbing and purpose for the look.

Probably one of the first contacts I had with Surrealism was a picture of Frida Kahlo, in which one could see the faces of Diego and Frida divided in half, was a small portrait that belonged to Maria Felix. Later in my journey through art and just before opening the project in the gallery, I find a wonderful piece of Alice Rahon, who until then was completely unknown to me. I was so fascinated that I started researching the author, finding a fascinating world in which many other authors were involved. In 1994, the gallery was the first posthumous tribute were presented about 42 paintings, with great results by the critics and the public. It was an honor Raquel Tibol a text published in Proceso magazine referring to the sample.

Speaking of some of the participants in this movement directly and indirectly, as they have been Maria Izquierdo and Jaqueline Lamba, in the case of the latter had the opportunity to know his work through two wonderful pieces, which made in one of his visits to Mexico, where many international players gathered quite often it was important meeting point. This is how Roberto Matta, Wilfredo Lam and Kati Horna among others, found in our land the most fertile for planting and harvesting the fruits of their labor, leaving a crucial witness to give a guideline to many researchers to perform multiple readings of this very broad that not only was his answer in the painting but was comprised of representatives as important, as was Luis Buñuel on the film and the architectural design of Xilitla of Edward James, among many others that will undoubtedly make Mexico Surreal.

For the year 2007 we made an exhibition "The Eye of Time through Surrealism" where we gather some important works by artists involved in the surrealist movement.

*Prologue Mexico always occupied a special place in surreal imagery. Real or fantastic tales of travelers who penetrated its geography, is enriched with the extraordinary stories of Antonin Artaud who visited the country by 1936. His encounter with the painting of Maria Izquierdo was a revelation, the answer to your search for a primitive art, spontaneous, honest. Two years later he followed Andre Breton. The discovery of pre-Hispanic art, the votive offerings and other manifestations of popular art and the painting of Frida Kahlo, left him convinced that Mexico was "the quintessential surrealist country." These visits Lourdes Andrade rightly called "fleeting visitors" were followed by a group of surrealist exiles who chose this country to escape the war in Europe. On September 7, 1939 Alice Rahon, Wolfgang Paalen and Eva Sultzer arrived on Mexican soil after a long expedition to Alaska and British Columbia and were greeted by Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera and Juan O'Gorman. In Mexico and gradually reunited with their friends who were exiled Surrealists in the country: César Moro, Remedios Varo, Benjamin Peret, Leonora Carrington, Stephen French and new friends as Kati and José Horna, although not at any time belonged to the circle of Breton, communed with the spirit of surrealism. This group was joined by Mexican figures as Miguel Covarrubias, Gunther Gerzso and shared with them a deep interest in Hispanic cultures and artistic creations of primitive peoples.

Consulate General of Mexico in Vancouver




espcialized curator in surrealistic women

The presence of Paalen marriage was decisive. Mexico not only placed permanently on the international map of surrealism, and not only as a utopia but a reality crystallized in the International Surrealist Exhibition, organized in the Gallery of Mexican Art in 1940 - but that helped spread new forms of thinking and making art, which marked the emergence of abstraction in Mexico. Alice Rahon surprised by diversity, the eclecticism that is reflected both in technology and in the themes of their parts. The same uses gouache, oil, pastel, which color crayons and ink on various media to incorporating unusual materials: sand, leaves, butterfly wings, feathers and other found objects. What Ariadne, Alice Rahon drags the magic thread through a maze of haunted cities, underworld, inhabited by mythical creatures and fantastic animals. Alice's work is essentially timeless, it refers to feelings, emotions, inner worlds. His paintings reveal his eternal quest for the marvelous, the surprising finding of an inner reality, a "surreality" whose disclosure is given only by that for Breton it was the highest aspiration of surrealism, the harmonious blending of poetry and painting.


Wolfgang Paalen, painter, theorist, collector, adventurer and visionary, conceived a body of work where the painting is inseparable from the ideas. Paalen strongly believed that new ways of thinking generate new forms of art. His vision embodied in the essays entitled Form and Sense, as well as cutting-edge Dyn magazine, explores the possibilities of a new art. Paalen's ideas had a decisive impact in shaping both American abstract expressionism, as in the emergence of abstraction in Mexico. Search Paalen pictorial, which was marked at the beginning by the discovery of primitive art, was gradually transformed by their interest in the study of space-time relationship and the changing image of the cosmos caused by new discoveries of physics. Through masterfully executed paintings, which completely absorb the viewer, Paalen sought to fashion a world of multiple possibilities, where painting became a vehicle of self-discovery for humans. Jacqueline Lamba, an artist in his own right has fallen into oblivion in the shadow of Breton, was part of a second generation of Surrealists. Along with Matta, Gordon Onslow Ford and Steve French, was interested in the doctrines of the fourth dimension of Russian mystic Ouspensky Peter. Explored new possibilities in painting, the ideas about cosmology and morphology psychological and metaphor spawned by the destruction caused by war. These ideas formed the subject of discussion and experimentation in the town of Erongaricuaro, Mexico, where Onslow-Ford built a house that became the favorite haunt of the Surrealist contingent in Mexico between 1942 and 1944. The paintings she made in those years arise from exploring the fine line between reality outside of the interior. In her paintings, ranging forms without a defined boundary and are continually transformed into a kaleidoscope of images that surround threedimensional space around them. The exploration of different realities led the Surrealists to also enter the magical and esoteric thought became the inspiration for Remedios Varo, Leonora Carrington and Kati Horna. The creative collaboration between Leonora Carrington and Remedios Varo is unique in the history of art. The deep friendship they shared after arriving in Mexico in the 1940's, was marked by an intense spiritual quest for intellectual and aesthetic affinities were reflected in a body of enigmatic works.

Using a novel narrative structure and a masterful painting technique, Carrington and Varo devised a powerful set visionary paintings and writings that represent alternative worlds in which relations of space and time and disrupt the line between reality and fiction seems deleted. Their canvases are full of mysterious characters and scenes, which often play a symbolic role. In their paintings, a dialogue extraordinary farm in a shared vision and at the same time deeply personal. Remedios Varo was a rigorous academic training is evident in the way they work. Remedios viewed the idea before starting to paint and tried to fit the image that had formed. These images were translated into preparatory sketches, drawn with a perfect mathematical calculation, which later were traced on the board or canvas to be painted in oil. Carrington, who studied for a time with Ozenfant, gave great emphasis to the painting technique, which later led her to experiment with the use of egg tempera, which allowed him to create brilliant hues While working at times with sketches have recently emerged, his paintings denote a more free and spontaneous brushwork airy, less accurate and rich color palette. The Hungarian photographer Kati Horna, arrived in Mexico in 1939 fleeing the Spanish Civil War, where along with her husband, José Horna, worked with the Republican cauda. With his Rolleiflex camera, he debuted as one of the first female war photographers documenting the devastation of war among the civilian population. Her training in Europe with avant-garde photographers like Robert Capa and Józef Pesci gave bases in Mexico for outstanding photographs. She combined his work as a photojournalist with more personal works in dialogue with surrealism. In the 1960s conducted a series of magnificent photo essays for the magazine Snob, and ode to necrophilia and artificial paradises. Her photographs are also a visual testimony of the surrealist group as noted Alberto Ruy Sanchez, "teaches to Mexico to wonder herself in a different way: passion without reason or national patriotism, heroism, adventure, creative without magnifying mirrors… surrealism added to the map of Mexico and unpredictable places and essential. "

wolfgang PAALEN


(1905 - 1959) He became a member of Abstraction–Création in 1934 and was involved with the Surindépendants in Paris from 1932 to 1935. He became a member of the Surrealist movement in 1935 and invented a technique of painting with a smoking candle called 'Fumage. In 1939, fleeing the Nazi uprising in Europe, he moved to Mexico City and together with many poets and intellectuals was greeted enthusiastically. Paalen was a creative artist, and eventually rejected official Surrealism which he felt was oppressive. It was then that he began the concept of DYN. He wrote about his liberation from the rigorous Surreal movement while in Mexico and published his magazine DYN. This magazine of opinion, poetry and fine art, also revealed the importance of 'ethnic art' and native peoples. Like Jacob Bronowsky of the Salk Institute who succeeded him, he worked on the implications of poetry, science and painting. By 1944, Paalen had produced 6 issues of DYN where he began the serious exploration of automatism and it's development into consciousness and the unconscious. His writings and paintings stirred up great interest by artists everywhere and are today, in the new millennium, being discussed and embraced by artists, scientists and poets. Paalen's movement called Dynaton holds an important niche in art history. His work is shown, and is in the collections of major museums around the world.

Consulate General of Mexico in Vancouver

Leonora Carrington (1917 - 2011) Was a British-born Mexican artist, a surrealist painter and a novelist. She lived most of her life in Mexico City Carrington saw Max Ernst's work in the 1936 International Surrealist Exhibition in London, and was immediately attracted to the Surrealist artist before actually meeting him. She met Ernst at a party in London in 1937. The artists bonded and returned together to Paris, where Ernst promptly separated from his wife. In 1938 they left Paris and settled in Saint Martin d'Ardèche in the south of France. The new couple collaborated and supported each other's artistic development. With the outbreak of World War II, Ernst was arrested by French authorities for being a "hostile alien." Thanks to the intercession of Paul Éluard, and other friends including the American journalist Varian Fry, he was discharged a few weeks later. Soon after the Nazi occupation of France, Ernst was arrested again, this time by the Gestapo. He managed to escape and flee to America with the help of Peggy Guggenheim, a sponsor of the arts. After Ernst's arrest, a devastated Carrington fled to Spain. Paralyzing anxiety and growing delusions culminated in a final breakdown at the British Embassy in Madrid. Her parents intervened and had her institutionalized. She was given cardiazol, a powerful anxiogenic drug that was eventually banned by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and other authorities. After being released into the care of a nurse who took her to Lisbon, Carrington ran away and sought refuge in the Mexican Embassy. Meanwhile, Ernst had been extricated from Europe with the help of Peggy Guggenheim, but Ernst and Carrington had experienced so much misery that they were unable to reconnect.

MARIA izquierdo (1902 - 1955)

Following the escape to Lisbon, Carrington arranged passage out of Europe with Renato Leduc, a Mexican diplomat who was a friend of Picasso and who had agreed to marry Carrington as part of the travel arrangements to help her. Events from that period would inform her work perhaps forever. She lived and worked in Mexico after spending part of the 1960s in New York City. "I didn't have time to be anyone's muse... I was too busy rebelling against my family and learning to be an artist." --Leonora Carrington, 1983 In Mexico she later married Emericko Weisz. They had two sons: Gabriel Weisz, an intellectual and a poet, and Pablo Weisz, a surrealist artist and doctor. Leonora Carrington died in Mexico City on Wednesday May 25, 2011, while hospitalized due to complications from pneumonia.

In 1927 at the age of 25 she left her husband to study art full time at the Academy of San Carlos in Mexico City. During her brief stay at the Academy, she met Rufino Tamayo who was to become her lover and Diego Rivera who became her mentor. Both men had a profound influence on her life. Under Tamayo she studied watercolor and gouache, and through Rivera's support, she was given her first important exhibition at the Galeria de Art Moderno in Mexico City in 1929. In 1928, one year after she entered the Academy, her studies ended. Students were infuriated at the special attention Rivera gave her work at a student showing, and she was obliged to leave the school. Rivera was fired shortly after over the incident. After 1929 Izquierdo began working in woodcuts. Izquierdo stayed true to her Mexican culture by using the landscape and traditions of Mexico as inspirations for her artwork. Her canvases have a primitivist provincial simplicity, inspired by folk devotional art and French painters such as Henri Matisse and Manet. In particularly, they exhibit a "masterly use of colour" and frequently include cupboards, altars, fruit, horses, portraits, and the circus. She was the first Mexican woman to have a solo exhibition at the New York Art center in 1929. In 1930 she was included in an exhibition of Mexican painters at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City and in 1931 at the Museum of Modern Art.

Was a Mexican painter. She was born in San Juan de los Lagos in the state of Jalisco; her birth name was María Cenobia Izquierdo Gutiérrez

Consulate General of Mexico in Vancouver

In 1936 she showed in San Francisco and once more at the Museum of Modern Art in New York in a group show. When she showed again at the Palacio de Bellas Artes in Mexico City, the critics eulogized her as the best contemporary Mexican painter.

REMEDIOS VARO ( 1908-1963 )

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 the Spanish 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.

alice RAHON

( 1904-1987 )

In 1931 she met the Austrian painter Wolfgang Paalen whom she married later. She was inspired by his Surrealist poetry. In 1936 she moved to India with Valentine Penrose, and published her poetry book À même la terre followed by Sablier couché in 1939 and Noir animal in 1941.

"I don't know why I came here. Mexico is the most surrealist country in the world". André Breton

Consulate General of Mexico in Vancouver

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 painter Leonora 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.

In 1939 she accompanied Paalen and her friend Eva Sulzer to British Columbia and afterwards to Mexico where they were received by Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera. At this time Rahon was instructed by Paalen in painting and worked from 1942 until 1944 for the journal “Dyn“, which was founded by Paalen and the Peruvian César Moro. In 1944 she gave her first exhibition in the Galería de Arte Mexicano in Mexico-City. Today some of her works are exhibited at the Museo de Arte Moderno (MAM).

In 1938, Breton accepted a cultural commission from the French government to travel to Mexico. After a conference at the National Autonomous University of Mexico about surrealism, Breton stated after getting lost in Mexico City (as no one was waiting for him at the airport) "I don't know why I came here. Mexico is the most surrealist country in the world". However, visiting Mexico provided the opportunity to meet Leon Trotsky. Breton and other surrealists traveled via a long boat ride from Patzcuaro to the town of Erongaricuaro. Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo were among the visitors to the hidden community of intellectuals and artists. Together, Breton and Trotsky wrote a manifesto Pour un art révolutionnaire indépendent (published under the names of Breton and Diego Rivera) calling for "complete freedom of art", which was becoming increasingly difficult with the world situation of the time.

Mexico Surreal  
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