UNTITLED (Three Women)

Reference #: T1636

Meraud Guevara (1904-1993)
1936

Oil on canvas
Signed l.l. in paint and ink

Dimensions
Height: 25 ½ inches
Width: 36 ¼ inches

During the course of her career, Meraud Guevara’s paintings demonstrate a gradation of evolution as inspiration from the artistic movements of cubism, fauvism and surrealism heavily influenced her distinct manner. Guevara’s career during the 1930’s would confer a new identity among the movement of what art enthusiasts refer to as “magic realism.” An idea with surrealist overtones, life and objects assume individual and imagined characteristics to create a dreamlike composition.

Of British/Irish decent, Meraud Guevara truly lived the life of an artist. In contrast to her elite family ties, Guevara expressed a zeal for a more informal way of life. Born into the wealthy Guinness Family in London of 1904, Guevara was fortunate to study well in her young lifetime. From 1923-24, she studied at the Slade School of Art in London under the direction of Henry Tonks. Just three years later, she moved to New York where she studied sculpture under the cubist artist Alexander Archipenko.

Archipenko’s sculptural influence is rendered through Guevara’s interpretation of her human figures. Guevara portrayed three women of monumental size on a horizontal plain separated by a blue sky and beige ground. Although identifiable as three women, the figures show exaggerated features with heavy outlines that give each figure a sculptural form. The women, as are most of Guevara’s subjects, appear somewhat displaced in the open dreamscape. The sentiment of detachment is a prominent theme among Guevara’s paintings.

Shortly after her study in New York, Guevara moved to Paris where she attended the Académie Julian and La Grande Chaumière, studying under both Francis Picabia and Pierre Tal-Coat. During her first gallery exhibition at the Galerie Van Leer in Paris, she met Alvaro Guevara and they married in 1929. Soon after the birth of her daughter in 1931, the couple divorced sustaining an intimate friendship until Alvaro’s death in 1951.

Meraud Guevara retired to Aix de Provence where she continued to paint until her death in Paris, 1993. During her lifetime, Guevara participated in a number of exhibition including a solo exhibition at Valentine Gallery, New York 1939, Peggy Guggenheim’s Art of This Century 1942, and group exhibitions at Salon des Independents. Most recently, Lori Bookstein Fine Art of New York held an exhibition in 2010 exhibiting both Alvaro and Meraud’s two dramatically different painting styles. Meraud Guevara’s paintings also belong to such prestigious collections as the Tate art museum and Metropolitan Museum of Art.

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