Below are selected paintings from Remedios Varo's career. I selected these because they are among her most famous works of art and my favorite pieces.The following paintings demonstrate her use of nature,women,animated objects,magic and subjects that have facial features similar to Varo herself. They are in order from her earlier paintings to her very last painting before her death.(Kaplan,38-40)
These images are taken from other sites, which you can find the link below each image. They are for educational purposes only and I do not own the copyrights to any of them.
Remedios Varo, Solar Music, 1955. Oil on masonite, 91 x 61 centimeters.
Image taken from: http://www.wsu.edu/~fa308310/fa310/2part1.html
Remedios Varo, Celestial Pablum, 1958. Oil on masonite.
Image taken from: dernieremarge.over-blog.net/
Remedios Varo, Woman Leaving the Psychoanalyst's Office, 1960. Oil on canvas, 71 x 41 centimeters.
Image taken from: www.blogtalkradio.com/nl
Remedios Varo, Mimesis, 1960. Oil on masonite, 47 x 49 centimeters.
Image taken from:
Varo, Still Life Reviving, 1963. Oil on canvas, 110 x 80 centimeters.
Image taken from:
Robin Urton;"Surrealism,"eyeconart.net,2002. http://www.eyeconart.net/history/surrealism.htm
Solar Music shows a woodland nymph playing music on a sunbeam as the instrument. The music she plays seems to have powers that heal the plant and make it grow. This follows with the traditional view of wood nymphs as the protectors and restorers of plant and forests. The nymph is draped in a grassy robe and barefoot, which shows her connection as part of nature. This painting demonstrates Varo's incorporation of creating the subject with her own features in mind and her skillful attention to detail. It is also painted with oil on masonite which was Varo's favorite medium and surface on which she painted. (Haynes,27; Kaplan, 46)
Celestial Pablum depicts women's potential entrapment by placing a woman in a lonely tower amidst the clouds, caring for a trapped moon though she is trapped herself in a confined, cramped space(Kaplan, 43).
I appreciate this piece because of Varo's excellent use of value and shape that give a perfect sense of the space of the room, steepness of the tower and overall depth of the painting. I particularly like this painting because it can be viewed as feminist art. My reasoning is that in this painting the woman is depicted in a maternal role as the caregiver of the moon, trapped in this domestic situation with little chance for escape. If she leaves there will be no one left to care for the moon, not only that, she also faces a dangerous trial of a long journey down an endless flight of stairs with no railing.
Woman Leaving the Psychoanalyst's Office presents the subject as a veiled woman exiting from a door marked as "Dr. F. J. A." (Freud, Jung, and Adler). Varo plays with "psychoanalytic theories about women and the process of individuation. Having the women drop the head of her father into the small well is an act that Varo described it as "correct to do when leaving the psychoanalyst." This supposedly is what allowed one veil to drop only to leave another veil still covering part of her face. This veil that still covers her mouth is said to leave her mute. (Kaplan, 44)
Again, Varo has a female subject and toyes with stereotypes of women. This character struggles to find herself and her own mode to express herself. Even after ridding herself of her father's influence there is still more that keeps her bound to silence. This inevitably will require her to come back for the aid of Dr. Freud, Dr. Jung and Dr. Adler because she can't free herself all by herself.
In Minesis, Varo studies female passivity it this painting. This painting contains a woman as one of the subjects and the furniture and cat as the others. The woman is sitting immobilized in an armchair. It seems that the women has been there so long that her skin is taking on the pattern of the fabric that is upholstered to the chair she sits in. Her limbs are turning into wood. The room comes alive as the furniture is animated and takes on a life of theirown. The chair in the corner digs through a drawer of an armoire that acts as a portal to another world. The chair the women sits in plays footie with the end table next to it. A cat looks up through a hole from below the floor in astonishment. Even the cat is more personified, such as the furniture, than the women is. Varo suggests that passivity may be a form of protective coloration for women whose vitality has been enervated by domestic isolation. (Kaplan, 41)
This painting, too, could be seen as feminist art. This is because the women in this painting has been in "domestic isolation" for so long that she is there for the furniture instead of the furniture being there for her. She is depicted as more of an inanimate object the everything else in the painting except for the walls. Even the the hole in the floor has more character then the women's face which almost blends into the fabric of the chair.
Still Life Reviving was the last painting she made before her death. Varo creates this image of a still life that has come to life as if by magic. The fruit floats above the table and orbits around the flame of the candle symbolizing a solar system. The fruit becomes planets, the flame becomes a sun. Chaotic orbits of the fruit results in collision and destruction of the fruit, sending seed to the floor to germinate and create new life. This shows that destruction can result in creation and rebirth. Perhaps it is representation of Varo's feelings toward the wars she lived through and her hope for a bright future. (Kaplan, 48; Lois, 125)
This image, like the previous animates objects that we are used to seeing as inanimate. I love the energy that the painting gives off. We can almost feel the wind created by the solar system of fruits and the candle that is powerful enough to twist the tablecloth around and send the plates off the table!