Armando Reverón

Venezuelan painter, born in Caracas. Reverón was a strange character but also ‘the best Venezuelan painter of the first half of the century’ (Edward Lucie-Smith, Latin American Art of the 20th Century, 1993). He was raised in a foster home in Spain after his parents; marriage broke up. Following a childhood attack of typhoid fever he became melancholic and irascible, and retreated into a private fantasy world for which he found an outlet in his art. In 1908–11 he studied painting at the Academy in Caracas, then went to Spain, where he studied first at the School of Fine Arts, Barcelona, then at the Academy in Madrid. After a trip to Paris in 1915, he returned to Caracas. In 1921 Reverón moved to the coastal town of Macuto with his wife and model Juanita and a monkey; he built a home and studio of wood, palm leaves, and thatch, where he lived and worked in primitive seclusion. His most characteristic paintings are of two main types—local landscapes and nude or semi-nude female figures, singly or in groups. His style was soft-edged and Impressionistic, somewhat in the manner of Bonnard, but with colours bleached by the fierce tropical light. Besides Juanita and local types, Reverón used as models life-size rag dolls, which he made himself and posed as if they were real people. In spite of his isolation, his work was widely exhibited (in France and the USA as well as Venezuela) and he won several awards, including a medal at the Paris Exposition Universelle in 1937. His mental instability became increasingly severe and in 1953 he entered a sanatorium, where he died the following year.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Bitnami