The Re-Enchantment of Surrealism: Remedios Varo’s Visionary Artists

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The visionary prowess of the artist was established, in both the visual and verbal arts, by the Symbolists in Fin de siècle France. This article asserts a continuity between the avowed spiritual dimension of their work and the visionary power of surrealist art asserted—despite strong resistance from the centre—by a group of renegade surrealists in the 1920s and beyond. To do so, it explores the artists that Spanish-born Mexican painter Remedios Varo (1908 – 1963) depicts in her work, demonstrating how they might be better understood when analysed in relation to Georges Ivanovich Gurdjieff’s (1866?-1949) esoteric aesthetics. In doing so, it reveals a neglected, postsecular trajectory in the history of surrealism.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)533-561
Number of pages29
JournalBulletin of Spanish Studies: Hispanic Studies and Researches on Spain, Portugal and Latin America
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 01 Jun 2018


  • Surrealism
  • Mysticism
  • G. I. Gurdjieff
  • P. D. Ouspensky
  • Le Grand Jeu
  • Western Esotericism
  • Remedios Varo

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