Inscribed, in black ink, bottom center of image: CARLOS/ MERIDA/ 1943
Carlos Mérida was known for blending European modernist techniques with Latin American and pre-Columbian themes. Interested in exploring his Mayan heritage, he often took inspiration from Guatemalan folklore. Estampas del Popol Vuh is a series based on a sacred K’iche’ Maya epic that had been passed down orally for generations before the Spanish conquest. These ten scenes (of which nine are displayed) tell the story of the world’s creation, the triumph of the heroic twins Hunahpu and Xbalanque over evil, and the birth of mankind. These works speak to indigenous resistance and the failed efforts of the Spanish colonial project to erase Mayan culture.
On Mérida’s use of color, artist and critic Luis Cardoza y Aragón wrote: "Mérida told me that ‘color is what came most easily to me in my painting.’ [He] has turned color into a religion. His life culminates in painting and his painting culminates in color."
From the 2022 exhibition A Space for Dialogue 107, Coloring the Western Canon, curated by Chloe Jung '23, Class of 1954 Intern
A Space for Dialogue 107, Coloring the Western Canon, Chloe Jung, June 25 - August 21, 2022, Alvin P. Gutman Gallery, Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire.
Virtual Space for Dialogue, 2018, Carlos Merida, From Mexico to Montmartre: 1912-1943, Marie-Therese (Motti) Cummings, Class of 2018, Levinson Intern, Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire. https://www.mcummings.vsfd.hoodmuseum.dartmouth.edu/
Eric Richards, New York, New York; given to present collecion, 2004.
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