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Argentinian, 20th century, male.

Active also active in France.

Born 1937.

Painter, draughtsman, watercolourist, engraver.

Camporeale's art lies somewhere between Hyperrealism and Surrealism, showing designs marked by such extreme accuracy in some of the compositions that they look unbalanced. The world he portrays is disturbing, disenchanted, unhealthy. Using concrete images, he transforms reality into productions that are detailed to the point of paroxysm, hence his espousal of German ...


Mexican, 20th century, female.

Born 6 July 1907, in Coyoacán (Mexico City); died 13 July 1954, in Coyoacán (Mexico City).

Painter, lithographer. Portraits, figure compositions, allegorical subjects.


Frida Kahlo was Hispano-Indian on her mother’s side and German on her father’s. She met Diego Rivera when he was painting a mural at the Escuela Nacional Preparatoria, where she was a student. They married in 1929 and, like Rivera, she became passionately interested in revolutionary politics. She had contracted polio at the age of six and never fully recovered the use of her right leg. In 1925, she also suffered a serious injury in a bus accident and became permanently physically handicapped as a result. It was during her convalescence that she began to paint.

The couple spent several years in New York and then returned to San Angel in Mexico, where they lived in a double house – each with their own studio – which had been designed by Juan O’Gorman, a pupil of Le Corbusier. In ...


(Oscar de la Conception)

Cuban, 20th century, male.

Active also in France.

Born 8 December 1902, in Sagua la Grande, Cuba; died 11 September 1982, in Paris.

Painter (gouache, pastels, watercolours), draughtsman, sculptor, engraver, illustrator, lithographer, potter.


Surrealist group.

After a brief period at the Academia Nacional de Bellas Artes San Alejandro in Havana from 1918 to 1923, Wifredo Lam went to Spain and remained there from 1924 to 1938, first in Madrid and later Barcelona. By 1938, Spain had been devastated by civil war and Lam was forced to move to Paris. Picasso became very fond of Lam and introduced him to André Breton, Max Ernst, and Victor Brauner, among others. From 1938 to 1941, Lam participated in the activities of the Surrealist group, particularly from 1940 when he found himself in Marseilles with the Surrealists who had been driven out of Paris by the war and the invasion of France. In 1940, Lam illustrated Breton’s ...


Chilean, 20th century, male.

Active in the USA, in Italy, France.

Born 11 November 1911, in Chiloe (Santiago); died 23 November 2002, in Civitavecchia, near Rome.

Painter (including gouache), watercolourist, pastellist, mixed media, sculptor, engraver, draughtsman, illustrator.

Surrealist group.

Roberto Matta came from a wealthy family and was of Spanish and Basque descent. He studied at the Colegio del Sagrado Corazón (Sacred Heart college) in Santiago de Chile. There is some confusion about the dates relating to his early life at least up to 1939. He went on to study in the fine arts department at the Catholic University, specialising in architecture, and was awarded his degree in 1931. By 1928 he had opened an interior design firm in Santiago but in 1932 abandoned the enterprise to travel around Italy, Spain, Yugoslavia, Russia and England. He then went to Paris where he worked for a number of years at Le Corbusier's firm, notably on the plans for the ...


(Antonio Sebastián)

(b Santiago, Nov 11, 1911; d Tarquinia, Nov 23, 2002).

Chilean painter, printmaker, and draftsman. He was educated at the Sacré Coeur Jesuit College and at the Catholic University of Santiago, where he studied architecture (1929–1931). In 1933 he went to Europe and worked in Le Corbusier’s atelier in Paris. At the end of 1934 Matta visited Spain, where he met the poet and playwright Federico García Lorca (1898–1936), and Salvador Dalí. The following year he went to Scandinavia (where he met the architect Alvar Aalto) and to Russia, where he worked on housing design projects. He was in London for a short period in 1936 and worked with Walter Gropius and László Moholy-Nagy. Employment with the architects of the Spanish Republican pavilion at the Paris International Exhibition (1937) brought him into close contact with Picasso’s Guernica (1937; Madrid, Prado), which greatly impressed him. Another important influence at this time was Marcel Duchamp, whose work he first saw in ...


Louise Noelle

(b Guatemala City, Dec 2, 1891; d Mexico City, Dec 21, 1985).

Guatemalan painter and printmaker. He came to painting through music, when incipient deafness made him exchange his piano for paintbrushes. His attendance at meetings organized by the Spanish Catalan painter Jaime Sabartés (1881–1968) proved decisive, for they brought him into contact with the paintings of Picasso; in 1912 he traveled to Paris, armed with a letter of introduction from Sabartés to Picasso. In Paris he frequented the studios of Amedeo Modigliani, Kees van Dongen, and Hermengildo Anglada Camarassa and learned about the artistic avant-garde. He also visited other European cultural centers.

On his return to Guatemala, Mérida, together with Rafael Yela Gunther, began to revalue indigenous art not for its folkloric aspects but for its essential local values prior to the Spanish conquest. At exhibitions held in Guatemala in 1919 and in Mexico in 1920, Mérida showed works such as Profile (1920; priv. col., see Nelken 1961...


Leonor Morales

revised by Deborah Caplow

(b Guadalajara, Feb 19, 1887; d Mexico City, Oct 13, 1968).

Mexican mural and easel painter, printmaker, illustrator, and stage designer. In 1903 he began studying painting in Guadalajara under Félix Bernardelli, an Italian who had established a school of painting and music there. He produced his first illustrations for Revista moderna, a magazine that promoted the Latin American modernist movement and to which his cousin, the poet Amado Nervo, also contributed poetry. In 1905 he enrolled at the Escuela Nacional de Arte in Mexico City; his teachers included Antonio Fabrés, Julio Ruelas, Leandro Izaguirre (1867–1941), and Germán Gedovius. Some of his fellow students were Diego Rivera, Francisco de la Torre, Saturnino Herrán, Angel Zárraga, and Jorge Enciso. In 1905 Montenegro won a grant to travel to Europe, first studying at the Academia de San Fernando in Madrid. In 1907 Montenegro moved to Paris, where he continued his studies and immersed himself in the world of contemporary art, meeting Cocteau, Picasso, Braque, and Gris, among others....


Venezuelan, 20th – 21st century, female.

Active in France.

Born 1957, in Caracas.

Painter (mixed media), screen printer.

Alexandra Poleo's painting displays a kind of figurative Surrealism, not dissimilar to free figuration. She has taken part in collective exhibitions, including: touring exhibition with the Telarte group in the USA and Switzerland (...


Bolivian, 20th century, male.

Active in France since 1970.

Born 1937, in La Paz.

Painter, sculptor, engraver.

Portugal lives and works in Cholet (Maine-et-Loire). His painting embodies a synthesis of Surrealist and Pop themes and techniques; he uses symbols to embody his most profound preoccupations. He participated in the ...


Luis Enrique Tord

(b Arequipa, Aug 19, 1940).

Peruvian painter and printmaker. He studied in the Netherlands and produced fantastic Surrealist-influenced pictures, in which he made reference to Flemish and Italian painting of the Renaissance. In a number of his dreamlike paintings figures appear to have emerged from a great box of robot toys, contributing to the painting’s disconcertingly cold atmosphere....