Agustín Lazo

Botellas, 1923

Oleo / tela
54 x 47.8 cm

Agustín Lazo – intellectual, cultural promoter, artista, scenic designer, and dramatist – was very important to cultural life in Mexico. He was part of the group known as the Contemporáneos (“Contemporaries”) and was a pioneer of surrealism in the country. Working in Paris in the early 1920’s, where he was influenced by some of the avant-garde plastic experiments taking place at that time, Lazo painted this canvas, which reveals a set on painterly concerns that are far different from the typically  nationalistic, Mexican-based themes that were so prevalent in most Mexican post-revolutionary art.
The Bottles is a Parisian work that echoes the cubist experiments of Picasso, Braque, and Rivera. The composition is not that of a typical still life, as it does not include fruit or other foods, drapes, or objects placed on a table. The four bottles in this painting serve as an excuse to experiment with the visual representation of different elements within the confines of a decidedly two-dimensional surface, focusing the two green ones in the back and the two ochre ones in the front into a pyramidal composition. They are placed in a corner, where a window meets a paneled wall. The transparencies of the glass, the irregular forms of the diverse materials, and the range of colors formed from the different areas finally decompose into almost abstract, geometric forms, becoming purely aesthetic objects. The window in the background allows light to enter the room and cast some shadows, which the artist also uses to form geometric shapes.

Pliego Quijano, Susana, et al. Mexican modern painting from the Andrés Blaisten Collection, Mexico: RM Verlag, 2011, page 50.

More of this artist

Francisco Díaz de León Fund