Journal of Surrealism and the Americas, Vol 3, No 1 (2009)

Negotiating Surrealism: Carlos Mérida, Mexican Art and the Avant-garde

Courtney Gilbert

Abstract


This essay explores Guatemalan-born painter Carlos Merida's involvement in the surrealist movement. It examines both Merida's contribution to the surrealist understanding of Mexico in the 1940s as well as his adoption and promotion of surrealist ideas as part of his attempt to create a uniquely American avant-garde. These two sides of Merida's engagement with surrealism are studied through the lens of the artist's work as the director of the Galeria de Arte Moderno in Mexico City in the late 1920s and early 1930s, where he showed the work of painters sympathetic to surrealism, his own surrealist-inspired paintings, and his contributions to Wolfgang Paalen's journal "Dyn," published in Mexico City from 1942-1944.

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