December 16, 2008 7:56 AM Subscribe
posted by CheeseDigestsAll (13 comments total)
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One hundred years ago today (12/16/08), Maria de los Remedios Varo Uranga, (aka Remedios Varo
) was born the Catalan region of north-east Spain. She attended the Academia de San Fernando in Madrid, where she was a classmate of Dali
, and Lorca
. She joined the Surrealist movement in France, but WWII forced her into exile in Mexico where she fully developed her artistic style
Mostly unknown in the US (eclipsed to some degree by the more flamboyance of Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera) she was a huge success in Mexico. Her paintings combine the surrealist love of the mystical and unconscious with a delicate sense of the mechanical
A new book
has been issued to celebrate her centenary, but in the past decade her work has been a much in the courts
as in the museums.
The dispute centers on who owns 39 paintings first lent and then given to Mexico City's Museum of Modern Art in 1999 by Walter Gruen, an Austrian and also a World War II refugee and concentration camp survivor who was Varo's supporter, lover, and common-law husband the last 11 years of her life. Varo's niece Beatriz Varo Jimenez of Valencia, Spain, has contended in a Mexico City family court that she is Varo's rightful heir and that Gruen had no right to give the works to the museum. The niece initially won control, but the Attorney General's office nullified the claim in 2006. proclaiming her work a national treasure so the works can not leave Mexico, though the case remains unresolved with respect to actual ownership. Gruen died on October 31
of this year.
A exhibition that included these works opened in February at El Museo de Arte Moderno de Ciudad de México (MAM).