Icon by Remedios Varo

This piece is built as a medieval altarpiece, usually closed to preserve the energy of the image, and open only for specific liturgical feasts.

Icon (closed) (1945) by Remedios VaroMALBA – Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires

During the decades of 1940 and 1950, a large group of European artists connected to the surrealist movement settled in Mexico City.

There, a circle for promoting abstract and fantastic art was formed in gatherings and galleries where those modes of expression were discussed and spread.

Born in Catalonia, Remedios Varo reached professional maturity in that environment, in exile after fleeing from the Spanish Civil War and Nazism.

By 1942, memorable meetings were being held at Varo and Benjamin Péret’s apartment—attended by Leonora Carrington, Alice Rahon, Wolfgang Paalen, and Kati and José Horna, among others. At this stage and until her death, Varo produced her most remarkable works. 

Icon (open) (1945) by Remedios VaroMALBA – Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires

Ícono stands out in her production by its particular structure, built as a medieval altarpiece usually closed to preserve the energy of the image, and open only for specific liturgical feasts.

Inside, a winged unicycle is carrying a cylindrical-shaped tower in a starry landscape, natural satellites and birds which evoke a fantastic universe teeming with spiritual allusions.

The work depicts mind as substance in ongoing transformation, marked by the implications of contemporary psychology, ancestral rituals, and magic realism derived from the ideas by Russian mystic and writer George Ivanovich Gurdjieff.

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