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Living

Remedios Varo Collection Returns to the Museum of Modern Art

Among the noted works on display are “Woman Leaving the Psychoanalyst," “Mimicry” and “The Escape”

"Paraisio de los Gatos" (Paradise of the Cats), a 1955 painting by Remedios Varo, is among the works on display now at the Museum of Modern Art as part of a show of work by the surrealist painter, photo: Courtesy of INBA
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11 months ago

“Remedios Varo. Apuntes y anécdotas de una colección” (Remedios Varo, Notes and Anecdotes from a Collection), which opened Saturday at the Museum of Modern Art, draws on the 39 works of the female surrealist painter that were donated to the museum in 2002.

Donated by Walter Gruen and Anna Alexandra Varsoviano in 2002, the Isabel Gruen Varsoviano Collection — named in memory of their daughter — represents the most complete collection of Varo work in a museum.

The Culture Secretariat, through the Museum of Modern Art, is presenting the exposition.

An image of the 1960 Varo painting "Woman Leaving the Psychoanalyst (Mujer saliendo de psicoanalista), photo: Courtesy INBA, the National Institute of Fine Artes (Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes)

An image of the 1960 Varo painting “Mujer saliendo de psicoanalista” (Woman Leaving the Psychoanalyst). Photo: Courtesy INBA

After the most recent exhibit of the collection in the Museum of Modern Art in 2013, the collection traveled to the Tijuana Cultural Center and to the University of Guadalajara Art Museum.

After a respite, the 39 works are now on display in an exhibit that brings together data about each one.

The project was started by Gruen and Ricardo Ovalle, said the National Fine Arts Institute (INBA). The show gathers and interprets pieces of history that appear in documents and testimonies.

It reproduces comments by the painter about such iconic works as “Mujer saliendo de psicoanalista” (Woman Leaving the Psychoanalyst), “Mimetismo” (Mimicry) and “La huida” (The Escape).

The show closes with a chronology centered on interesting facts, rather than in the grand themes associated with the work of one of the most outstanding representatives of surrealism in Mexico.

Born in Spain in 1908, Varo married painter Gerardo Lizárraga at a young age. After separating from him, she came into contact with surrealist painters in Paris and arrived in Mexico during World War II.

She is known for her fondness of alchemy, science and esotericism; a taste for literature and an interest in psychoanalysis; her dear friendship with the English painter Leonora Carrington and her sudden death at the age of 54.


The Museum of Modern Art is located at Paseo de la Reform and Ghandi Bosque de Chapultepec. It is open Tuesday through Sunday from 10:15 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Admission is 60 pesos.

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