Art 2 – Critique 3/27

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Take a quick look at Remedios Varo bio on Wikipedia and then view carefully the works and interpretations in the link below.

Remedios Varo gallery and interpretations

What aspect of her life is most interesting to you in relation to the style and message of her paintings?

Which work is especially interesting to you? Do you agree with the interpretation of it on the site? If not, why?

Is her work out of date or is it relevant to us today? If not, how could you update it?

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9 responses »

  1. I love the work of this artist! Having lived in Mexico and been able to actually see many of the works in these ‘pictures’ in a Mexico City museum, I so appreciate her talent and the resulting work. I think the ‘history’ explanations/interpretations from the “link” add to the understanding of the painters work. She was knowledgeable, skillful, very inventive, and clever. I could stand before any of her paintings and marvel at the skill, the interpretive aspects, the illustrative strength of the work. Extraordinary! It is still relative as her scientific approach to ‘real’ ideas still has visual impact in todays world.

  2. She is my new favorite artist. The Spanish Civil War, and WW2, and the technological advancements of her era are present in her art. My favorite painting is the creation of birds. Everything about it is “sci-fi,” from the triangular magnifying glass to the machine creating her paint. I agree with the interpretation on the website, science is apparent in her art. The vases in the back defying gravity, the starlight being put through a triangular glass piece to create color spectrum, and the machine creating her paint.

  3. Wow, I really love her stuff. I think it’s interesting that she was around during the Spanish Civil War and she’s a surrealist because my favorite Picasso painting, Guernica, is also surrealist and was painted during the Spanish Civil War. My favorite of her paintings is probably The Flutist. I suppose the interpretation the site has makes sense, but I don’t like it, most likely because I don’t really like science. I’d rather think of it as someone using magic to build a tower. It’s mystical.

    I don’t think art ever becomes “out of date.” Her work, in particular, emphasizes discovery, which will always be pertinent to society.

  4. I also think it’s really interesting that she lived during the time of the Spanish civil war, and I wonder how that affected her art. I really like Phenomenon of Weightlessness. To me, when I saw it I immediately thought of the scientific revolution and the studies of gravity. However, it is also different from that because the object is floating as if there is no gravity at all. I don’t agree with the site’s interpretation. I believe that the scientist in the painting is intrigued and feels in control of the earth and moon floating, not afraid. I also don’t think that the scientist is discovering this, not inventing it. I agree with Rose that art doesn’t become out of date. For example, we used Brunelleschi books for our woodcut drawings, and he came out of the Renaissance.

  5. I think her experience in Europe during the Spanish Civil War and World War 2 contributed a lot to her painting. Like Picasso, I think Vero’s surrealism was a refugee for war-made terror and crazy reality. The web site indicated that her father, who was fascinated about science, helped to develop Vero’s interest in Science. I could not deny science played an important part in her painting, but it was not the only theme. The color she used and the style she endorsed somehow reminded me of gothic art. Her paintings are rather antique rather than modern, religious rather than scientific. The scientists, who often appeared as major characters, seemed to have two sides: innocent human and prophet. On one hand, they stayed in a closed room, attempting to discover the mystery and nature in the universe. On the other hand, they were intelligent discover who knew everything and had many stories untold. Vero’s painting would never be outdated, because her painting reflected a very major purpose of human being; to reach out and build connections with outer world. The poem from Walt Whitman, “a noiseless patient spider”, can be best represented Vero’s theme in my view, as below:
    A noiseless, patient spider,
    I mark’d, where, on a little promontory, it stood, isolated;
    Mark’d how, to explore the vacant, vast surrounding,
    It launch’d forth filament, filament, filament, out of itself;
    Ever unreeling them–ever tirelessly speeding them.
    And you, O my Soul, where you stand,
    Surrounded, surrounded, in measureless oceans of space,
    Ceaselessly musing, venturing, throwing,–seeking the spheres, to connect them;
    Till the bridge you will need, be form’d–till the ductile anchor hold;
    Till the gossamer thread you fling, catch somewhere, O my Soul.

  6. I think it’s really interesting how, in her life, a theme seems to be fleeing/escaping and I feel like that is really represented in her art. There aren’t any pictures of people running away from things but the fantastical element in her work, I feel like, is another way of escaping. She escapes into her own world where there are people with owl heads and who sit on chairs covered in the floor they also sit on. My favorite is the owl person and I understand, sort of, the interpretations on the website but it seems like there is this person, who obviously doesn’t fit in, trying to create something out of nothing, using significant parts of themselves (aka the violin/heart). The more I look at it though, the more I see, so I could be completely off-track. Her art seems bizarre and whimsical, and I think I like it but I can’t really decide. With the style, the paint, the set-up, her work looks like it should be from the renaissance but when you really look at it and start noticing all of the quirks, they don’t add up. They aren’t things you would see in real life and I think that fantastical element is a lot more modern.

    • That is a very interesting interpretation of her artwork. I agree with some of what you said….for instance, the part about her trying to escape her life. For me, she parallels with Freda Kahlo. Their work seems very similar to one another. The “fantastical” aspects of of each surrealist painting seems to connect. It’s almost like REMEDIOS VARO-MIND is the future version of Kahlo.

  7. I like the dimension in there, she almost uses the cubism technique to produce the shadow effect. The transition between color is reallly natural. Also the palace in the flutist is really cool, to me it almost looks like a transparent temple. The arrangement is also fascinating, she got some intense corners and loose corners to guide your eye to travel around the whole thing.
    For me, I think everyone should have their own interpretation to every artwork, it might be differnet from what the artist see but it’s related to the person’s logic and way of thinking. I don’t usually think like others. So it’s a different aspect for me.
    And for me, I’m not entirely sure about what I know about America and culture, but I think if you consider the artwork from different aspect there must be something that could go with the time.

  8. I also find it interesting that she painted during the Spanish Civil war, and her paintings are definitely very surrealistic. I like the flutist because it seems really mystical and when I first saw it, it striked me as kind of creepy. None of other paintings really captured my attention as much because I also don’t like science all that much, like Rose said. So the gravity stuff and experiments and magnifying glasses don’t interest me as much as the flutist which isn’t as directly sci-fi, it’s more mysterious. I do like all the shapes and angles in her other paintings though, they are very sharp and dimensional. Over all I like this artist and her work is very unique.

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