Modern Art Monday Presents: Remedios Varo, The Juggler (The Magician)

Remedios Varo The Juggler By Gail Worley
Photo By Gail

In Remedios Varo’s The Juggler (The Magician) 1956, the titular juggler (or magician) stands on a platform of a carnivalesque cart filled with fantastical objects and animals.¬† He performs before seemingly identical figures robed in a single gray cloak. To produce this composition, Varo worked in the manner of early Renaissance masters; she transposed preparatory drawings onto a a gesso-primed panel which had been scratched to give it texture. She also deployed decalomania, a technique favored by the Surrealists in which materials such as paper or aluminum foil are pressed onto wet paint to transfer a pattern that may be embellished. Its atmospheric effects can be seen in the magician’s garments and in the background trees.

Photographed in the Museum of Modern Art in NYC.

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