Tres figuras [Three Figures]
45 cm x 29.2 cm (17 11/16 in. x 11 1/2 in.)
(Guatemala City, Guatemala, 1891 - 1985, Mexico City)
Latin America, Guatemalan
Medium and Support:
Gouache and ink on paper
Blanton Museum of Art, The University of Texas at Austin, Gift of Thomas Cranfill, 1978
Born in Guatemala, Carlos Mérida lived in Europe in the 1920s and then settled in Mexico. A modernist, he drew from a rich variety of sources, including his indigenous heritage and the work of surrealist painters he met abroad. In the early 1930s, Mérida developed a simplified figurative style that he combined with fluid fields of color. Here, he presents the ambiguous outlines of three stocky figures with missing limbs, which could be read as mannequins, classical sculptures, or ancient Mexican figurines. They blend with the painterly background as the soft white and gray tones simultaneously give solidity to the figures and engulf them.