Latin American Masters gallery announces a rare exhibition of thirty-two major paintings by Carlos Merida (1891 - 1984).
Merida was born in Guatemala of mixed Mayan and Zapotec descent. In 1908, he traveled to Paris with the artist Carlos Valenti. He met Picasso, befriended Modigliani, and studied painting with Van Dongen.
In 1914, Merida returned to Guatemala, where he initiated a Pro-Indian art movement with Yela Gunther, in an attempt to find an authentic "American art". He traveled to Mexico in 1919, where he exhibited paintings inspired by indigenous themes. This was two years before Rivera’s return from Europe.
Merida’s first exhibition in New York was in 1926 at the Valentine gallery. In 1927 he returned to Europe, where he became friends with Klee and Miro. Throughout the 30's and 40's, his work was influenced by the biomorphic forms of Surrealism.
1949 was a watershed year in Merida’s development. His work became increasingly geometric, no doubt influenced by his association with Gropius and Albers, who he taught with at Black Mountain College. Throughout the next three and a half decades, Merida refined a vision of abstraction, rooted in pre-Columbian forms, modern architecture, and the lyricism of his first love: music. Perhaps Paul Westheim best described Carlos Merida’s art when he said, "His painting is music for the eyes of subtle delicacy".
Latin American Masters Merida Exhibition will include superb examples of the artist’s work never before exhibited on the West Coast.