Discover Alice Rahon, a Parisian Poet Turned Mexican Surrealist Painter, Whose Works Are Revealed at MOCA North Miami

  • November 20, 2019 20:07

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The Next Morning (The City of Ys), 1958 Alice Rahon (born Chenecey - Buillon, France 1904 - died Mexico City, Mexico, 1987) Oil on canvas, 54 1/2 x 86 3/4 in. Collection of Frances and Don Baxter.
Feu d’herbes (Herbs on Fire), 1945. Alice Rahon (born Chenecey - Buillon, France 1904 - died Mexico City, Mexico, 1987) Oil on canvas, 9 3/4 x 38 3/4 in. Private Collection, Courtesy of Oscar Roman Gallery, Mexico.
Papaloapan River , 1947. Alice Rahon (born Chenecey - Buillon, France 1904 - died Mexico City, Mexico, 1987) Oil and sand on canvas, 14 1/8 x 49 1/4 in. Private collection.
The Night at Tepoztlan , 1964. Alice Rahon (born Chenecey - Buillon, France 1904 - died Mexico City, Mexico, 1987) Oil on canvas, 27 1/2 x 34 in. Collection of Dr. Enrique Sánchez Palomera.
Juggler, 1946. Alice Rahon (born Chenecey - Buillon, France 1904 - died Mexico City, Mexico, 1987) Wire marionette inside an acrylic box 23 x 15 x 4 3/4 in. Collection of Francisco Magaña Moheno and Carlos Santos Maldonado.
Death’s Smile , 1939. Alice Rahon (born Chenecey - Buillon, France 1904 - died Mexico City, Mexico, 1987) Watercolor on paper, 7 7/8 x 10 in. Private Collection.
The Museum of Contemporary Art North Miami (MOCA) is set to present a new exhibition featuring works of French-Mexican surrealist painter Alice Rahon (1904–1987). “Poetic Invocations” is guest curated by Mexico-City based art historian Tere Arcq.
The exhibition aims to contribute to the scholarship and recognition of under explored women artists, and to the intercultural influences on European artists in exile in the Americas, whose work was often deeply marked by indigenous and archaic cultures.
Opening on Tuesday, Nov. 26, the exhibition will be on view during Miami Art Week and run through Sunday, March 29, 2020. A Miami Art Week reception will be held on Thursday, Dec. 5; VIP reception (invitation only) from 6-8 p.m.,open to the public from 8-11p.m.
Born in France and later nationalized as a Mexican, Rahon joined the Parisian Surrealist circle as a poet, but once in Mexico, she turned her creativity mainly to painting. She became an active a member of a group of European Surrealists artists in exile including Remedios Varo, Benjamin Péret, Leonora Carrington, and Kati Horna. Rahon’s production was a far cry from that of her contemporaries. She was drawn to light and color, and established a continuous dialogue between painting and poetry. Her creations brought together Mexican landscapes, myths, legends and fiestas, and she was a pioneer in the use of sand and texture on her canvases, which included subtle graffito markings. Her oeuvre has been overlooked for many years.
“Poetic Invocations” marks the first solos how dedicated to Rahon’s work in the United States in 55 years since her exhibition at the Louisiana Gallery in Houston, Texas in 1964. The exhibition examines a robust art-historical moment that emerged in 1940 as an international community of artists fled WorldWar II in Europe and settled in Mexico. It will feature approximately 30 works including paintings, works on paper, assemblages, as well as archival material such as the Dyn journal, original poems and manuscripts and photographs to put an emphasis on Rahon ́s oeuvre as a whole.
The exhibition will explore five fundamental themes: art as poetic invocation, the power of the immemorial past, the journal that challenged limits, the volcano and the Mexican landscape and light: the dilution of inside and outside, and the metaphorical experience of the inside out: fiestas and popular art in Mexico.
“Alice Rahon is a key figure who built a timeless connection amongst cultural flows through the origin of a poeticand spiritual art,” said Arcq. “She achieved understanding art in its purest condition: like liberated and momentous beauty.”

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