Photo of Remedios Varo.

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From left to right: Gerardo Lizarraga, Chiki Weisz, Jose Horna, Leonora Carrington, Remedios Varo, Gunther Gerszo, Benjamin Peret, and Miriam Wolf at the wedding of Carrington and Weisz, Mexico City, 1946.

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     Remedios Varo was born in Angles Cataluna, Spain on December 16, 1908. In 1924, at age 15 she was admitted to the Academy of San Fernando in Madrid to study painting. Here she learned about the Surrealist movement. In 1930, She married painter Gerardo Lizárraga in San Sebastián. Varo left her country  and moved to Paris, France because of the Spanish Civil War and to study avant-garde* art. A couple years later she separated from Lizárraga and met avant-garde artist, Esteban Francés. They shared a studio in the Plaza de Lesseps. 

     Between 1935 and 1936 Varo had an exhibition of drawings (with José Luis Florit) in Madrid. She also met the Spanish surrealist Oscar Domínguez in  Barcelona. Through Domínguez, she met the French Surrealist poet Benjamon Péret who became her second husband.   

     Varo and Péret move to Paris in 1937. He she met Miró, Max Ernst, Victor Brauner, Wolfgang Paalen, André Breton and Leonora Carrington. In that same year Varo participated in the International Surrealist Exhibit in Tokyo, Japan.

     Later she moved to Mexico City, Mexico with her husband (Péret) to escape Nazi occupation of France in 1941.  Between 1947 and 1949, Varo and Péret separated. Varo participated  in the International Surrealist Exhibition in the Gallery Maeght, Paris. She was hired by the Venezuelan Ministry of Public Health to do technical drawings. Varo lived in Venezuela until 1949.

   In 1953, Varo married her third husband, Walter Gruen, an Austrailan exile who was a successful businessman in Mexico City. She had the first one woman exhibition in 1956 at the Galeria Diana in Mexico City, Mexico.  Shown in that exhibition included twelve were works which went over very well. Varo participated in the First Salon of Women's Art at the Galerias Excelsior of Mexico in 1958.

     Varo did little experimentation with other media. In 1959 she created her only surviving sculpture, Homer Rodans. It is a small figure of chicken, fish and turkey bones that are wired together. She has her second solo exhibition in 1962 at the Galeria Juan Martin of Mexico City. This exhibition contained fifteen works and was a success just like her first.

     Though she is very popular in Latin America she is little known to the rest of the World. She died in Mexico City on Tuesday October 8, 1963 at age fifty four of a heart attack. (Haynes,26; Kaplan, 38-39; Lois Parkinson Zamora, 113-114;;;


* avant- garde- advanced and stylistically innovative art.  The artistic avant-garde was regarded a new kind of art which was in opposition to traditional art, searching for a new kind of artistic expression. It was inspiration for surrealists at the beginning of the 20th century. In this case I am referring to French surrealism.

Extensive explanation of avant-garde can be found at