Remedios Varo

Encuentro (Encounter)

About this artwork

Remedios Varo was a leading figure in Mexican Surrealism during the 1940s and 1950s. Fascinated by science and the occult, she often depicted enchanted domestic scenes, magical machines and strange, otherworldly beings. The concept of the encounter – especially the chance encounter – was a subject favoured by the Surrealists for its mysterious potential. In this striking composition, a seated figure carefully lifts the lid on a tiny casket to find her own eyes staring back at her. Several similar boxes sit on the shelves in the background, suggesting many more 'selves' are to be discovered. The image can be read as a self-portrait: many of the characters that Varo painted feature her heart-shaped face and almond eyes. Varo regularly engaged in automatic techniques when producing her enchanting and intricate paintings. To create this magic cloak, Varo has used the technique of soufflage (an innovative method where wet paint or ink is blown to create patterns and shapes  ̶  souffler means ‘to blow’) which evokes the fluid qualities of both water and fabric.

Published March 2024

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Remedios Varo

Remedios Varo

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