fbpx Biennale Arte 2022 | Alice Rahon
La Biennale di Venezia

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Alice Rahon

1904, France – 1987, Mexico


  • TUE - SUN
    23/04 > 25/09
    11 AM - 7 PM

    27/09 > 27/11
    10 AM - 6 PM
  • Central Pavilion
  • Admission with ticket

Alice Rahon was an integral member of the Surrealist group that lived and worked in Mexico City in the late 1930s. Displaced by World War II, Rahon and her husband, painter Wolfgang Paalen, fled France in 1939, joining André Breton, Leonora Carrington, and Remedios Varo as well as local Mexican artists Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera, and Manuel Álvarez Bravo. Rahon and her peers found community in exile, and their artwork was informed by the landscape, Indigenous history, and artistic legacies of Mexico. Rahon took a Surrealist approach to all of her work, marrying poetry and myth in an array of media. In Thunderbird (1946), she invokes the aesthetics of prehistoric cave painting, with gestural brushstrokes and contour lines that connect a web of symbolic figures on floating backgrounds. In 1946, a year after the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, she created a ballet inspired by the ancient Mayans’ expertise in astronomy. In the ballet, five characters – first imagined through gouache paintings, and then configured as three-dimensional marionettes made of wire – including The Juggler (a magician) and Androgyne (a non-binary gender being), ponder the beginning of life following the destruction of the planet. Rahon was able to channel the spiritual energy of ancestral cultures and did so through a plethora of artistic expressions.

Isabella Achenbach

Image

Alice Rahon, Thunderbird, 1946. Oil on canvas, 32.1 × 99.1 cm.
Photo Gallery Wendi Norris, San Francisco. Collection Gallery Wendi Norris

Central Pavilion
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