Roberto Montenegro

Desesperación, 1949

Oleo / masonite
60 x 65 cm

Montenegro was a trasitional painter at the end of the XIX century, born in Guadalajara, provincial and cosmopolitan at the turn of the century. He emigrated to the capital, and being a talented colorist was soon on a scholarship to study in Europe. Together with Zárraga, he is one of the best examples of symbolism in Mexico, so it is not strange that he eventually turned to Surrealist art. In the Parisian bohemia of Montparnasse, he met Diaghilev, Nijinsky, Picasso and Apollinaire, and on his return he formed ties with the Ulises Theater of Antonieta Rivas Mercado and the poets of the magazine Contemporáneos. He took part in the international exhibit of Surrealism that César Moro and Wolfgang Paalen organized under the auspices of André Breton in 1940 at the Galería de Arte Mexicano. This oil from the Blaisten Collection reveals the models and concerns that Montenegro had: soaked in the metaphorical tradition of symbolism; he calls to the contrast of complex and hermetic views, characteristic of some Surrealism, and projects a spatial dimension similar to the scenery he designed for ballet and theater. In this latter field it is worth remembering that Montenegro knew and assisted Marc Chagall in the design of scenery for the ballet Aleko.

Cfr. Olivier Debroise. Roberto Montenegro 1887 -1968. México, Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes, 1984.

More of this artist

Roberto Montenegro. Fondo Jonh y Marie Plakos Fund

Francisco Díaz de León Fund