As a young artist, Mérida left his home country of Guatemala to move to Europe where he was exposed to some of the most important circles of the avant-garde from 1910-1914. Drawn by Mexico’s cultural renaissance and promises of social reforms, Mérida moved to México City in 1919, where he became Diego Rivera’s assistant. Rivera’s influence on Mérida’s style is undeniable as the artist’s work soon began to explore post-revolution themes of social justice, including the role of the indigenous and the disenfranchised worker. Later, however, upon returning to Europe in 1927, Mérida’s style shifted once more as he came to create abstract works that would define the rest of his career in Mexico. Mexican culture and visual vocabulary synthesized with avant-garde abstraction as Mérida developed a style that fused Mayan symbols and geometric forms with Surrealist and Cubist influences.