This is a site devoted to educating the public about the amazing life and art work of this masterful female artist. It is designed for art lovers and those wishing to learn more about Varo herself, women artists, and Surrealism. Artists can feature their work on this site by becoming a member. In addition, there is a hand selected library of works by Remedios Varo.
Maria de los Remedios Varo Uranga’s life began in 1908. The first eight years of her life were spent traveling with her family to various places throughout Spain and Northern Africa as her father, a hydraulic engineer, found work and kept steps ahead of the Spanish Civil War. At age eight, the family had settled in Madrid and the young, imaginative girl began a more formal education then the brief times at various convents in the towns where her father had worked. With her father’s blueprints and technical drawings as her first influence and inspiration Remedios Varo began her life as an artist by entering the Academia de San Fernando in Madrid to study painting in her early teen years. Though these years of study were strict and rigorous she loved being with the artists, and, she loved the new style of art coming on the scene.
In the mid thirties, Varo traveled to Barcelona and into the waiting embrace of the bohemian tradition. Here, she became involved with the Surrealist movement and married for the second time. Her new husband, Benjamin Peret, was also a Surrealist, though it is believed Andre Breton was Varo’s greatest influence in the understanding of Surrealism.
While relocated in Paris she met her lifelong friend Leonora Carrington. It was also here that Remedios Varo perfected her skills in the Surrealist style, having gallery showings and a number of works published in various Surrealist journals.
With the invading Nazi armies of World War II reaching Paris in 1940, Varo’s found herself once more in Spain, but she and friends were forced to leave there as well, and fled the country for Mexico City where many other artists, also in exile, had found refuge. Believing this to be only a temporary place in her life-she earned her living as a commercial artist, wrote various pieces, restored pottery and designed costumes. Central America, with its many influences, however, remained her home for the rest of her life.
The 1950’s brought Remedios Varo to the place where she had finally developed her unique painting style. She enjoyed oils as her medium of choice and used masonite panels (board) which she liked to prepare herself. Varo’s brushwork involved many small inter woven strokes of paint laid very close to each other. Upon her death, she left her private collection of paintings that have been valued in the vicinity of $15 million.
Influenced by a diverse array of philosophies, Remedios Varo held traditions of both Western persuasion and those of the ancient Eastern. She, along with assorted friends, shared a passion for the mystical, the occult and the legend of the Holy Grail. She had a fascination with alchemy and the geometry used to created sacred art and/or the architecture considered a necessity for the construction of such sacred places as temples, monuments, early churches and mosques, as well as, the sacred alters, groves and wells scattered about Europe.
Remedios Varo had one great love, Jean Nicolle, a French pilot and adventurer, but her final and most happy relationship was with an Austrian executive and publisher, Walter Gruen. Believing in Varo, Gruen supported her completely the last ten years of her life. It was he that they called when she suffered a heart attack in 1963. It was in his arms that she died not long afterwards.