Remedios Varo (Spanish/Mexican 1910-1963)
Remedios Varo (Spanish/Mexican 1910-1963)

Explorador piloto

Remedios Varo (Spanish/Mexican 1910-1963)
Explorador piloto
signed 'R. VARO' (lower right)
oil and tempera on paper laid on cardboard
13 7/8 x 6½ in. (35.2 x 16.5 cm.)
Executed in 1960.
Acquired from the artist.
Maurico Ocampo collection, Mexico City.
Private collection, Mexico City.
'Homenaje a Remedios Varo', M. Folch in Kena, Mexico City, 25 November 1963 (illustrated).
J. Fernández, Catálogos de la exposiciones de arte, suplementos de los Anales del Instituto Nacional Autónoma de México, Mexico City, 1965, p. 103.
J. Kaplan, Unexpected Journeys: The Art and Life of Remedios Varo, Abbeville Press, New York, 1988, p. 195, no. 178 (illustrated).
R. Ovalle and W. Gruen, eds. et al., Remedios Varo: Catalogue Raisonné, Fourth edition, Ediciones Era, Mexico City, 2002, p. 362, no. 294.
Mexico City, Museo Nacional de Arte Moderno, Palacio de Bellas Artes, La obra de Remedios Varo, 3 August 1964, no. 31.

Lot Essay

This work is sold with a photo-certificate of authenticity signed by Walter Gruen and dated 11 June 2008.

The wonderfully concocted bird-boat-plane in Varo's Pilot Explorer bears marked similarities to a little bird-ship by Bosch. Whereas Bosch's sky boat moves in response to the swan's energetically flapped wings, Varo's bird is lifeless, and its wings are a windmill contraption that is connected by pulley to a wheel beneath the boat. Her vessels are always equipped with such alternative means of locomotion. Distrusting technology, she designed her vehicles to make use of natural and human forces--here both windmill and wheels--as though in anticipation of energy crises to come. It is in these inventive vessels that Varo's work most closely echoes Bosch's. Her various sailing ships, sky machines, and wheeled caravans show an imaginative creativity very close to his. Both artists intended their fantasy vehicles to be understood as metaphors. For Bosch, the journey is often that of a ship of fools, a metaphor for the randomness of life, with passengers adrift on a ship they cannot control. For Varo, the journey represents both physical exile, with its psychic dislocation, and spiritual quest.

J. Kaplan, Remedios Varo: Unexpected Journeys, New York, Abbeville Press Publishers, 1988, p. 195.

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