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Sold at Auction: Carlos Mérida

(1891-1984)
Alias:Carlos Mérida
Painter

Biography

(born 1891 Guatemala City; died 1984-85? Mexico City) Guatemalan painter, printmaker, and muralist. Helping spearhead the Mexican indigenous movement of the early 20th century, Carlos Merida is known for combining Modernism with Mexican and Guatemalan folk culture; creating a style uniquely his own. He traveled to Europe in 1910 where he met Modigliani and Picasso and became influenced by the Modernist movement. In 1914 he returned to Guatemala where he worked with sculptor Rafael Yela Gunther and in 1919 moved to Mexico City where he continued to live most of his life, coming in contact with the muralists including Diego Rivera. Unlike the muralists, Merida lacked interest in recreating historic events with meticulous details and heavy political overtones; instead he absorbed the aesthetics and themes of his native culture and let that influence his artwork. Merida returned again to Europe in 1927 and started experimenting with abstraction and surrealism in the 1930s and 1940s. In the 1950s his style became Constructionist; with highly geometric compositions that recall the Cubist movement decades earlier. He continued to paint this way until he died at 93 years old.
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