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Remedios Varo: Unexpected Journeys Paperback – May 10, 2000


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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Kaplan has written a lively, informative narrative that zips along like an adventure story." -- Philadelphia Inquirer

"This beautifully written and illustrated book, full of wonders, is a joy to read and behold. This journey through the art and life of Remedios Varo with Janet Kaplan as guide is art history and art criticism at its best." -- Belles Lettres

About the Author

Janet A. Kaplan is currently Professor of Art History at Moore College of Art and Design and Editor of the Art Journal. She lives in Philadelphia
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Abbeville Press (May 10, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0789206277
  • ISBN-13: 978-0789206275
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 6.8 x 9.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #285,365 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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28 of 30 people found the following review helpful By E. Karasik on June 19, 2000
My only complaint about this biography is that it left me wanting even more information. The material that was included was presented in a coherent, informative, and sensitive manner. Ms. Kaplan does an admirable job of summarizing Ms. Varo's fascinating life and illuminating the complex themes and techniques which characterize her paintings. Certainly this is a must read for any woman artist, student of surrealism, or anyone who is enchanted by the marriage of magic and science achieved by Ms. Varo's miraculous paintings. However, in comparison to some of the other recently published biographies (e.g. "The Unknown Matisse") , the material seems a bit thin. There is a paucity of information from original sources such as journals and letters, although perhaps this is a question of availability. The result, unfortunately, is that while I came away from the book feeling as though I had an excellent introduction to Ms. Varo's life and work, I did not feel that I had experienced the texture of her life which would come from reading a more richly detailed biography.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By someone on August 28, 2004
If you have stumbled upon this wonderful book, then I congratulate you. The next step is to buy it, because it is the only comprehensive book on Remedios Varo I know of. If you are not familiar with the work of Varo, she was a Surrealist painter and a contemporary of such artists as Dali, Magritte, and Leonora Carrington (to whom she is frequently compared, though in my humble opinion Varo's work is much more fantastic and delicate). Her work, though shamefully underrated, establishes her as an extremely talented artist with an eye for incredible detail and an imagination that rivals that of Bosch and Dali. As for the book itself, Janet Kaplan has done an incredible amount of research (she actually had to travel to Spain and Mexico to get the information) for this book, which offers Varo's biography and some excellent interpretations of her paintings, which are reproduced on the pages in gorgeous, large color plates and even more black and white sketches and prints. Please buy this book and familiarize yourself with Remedios Varo, despite the brow-raising price: to allow her to remain unnoticed would be a travesty.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Chris Lane on June 4, 2000
Janet A. Kaplan examines the exquisite works of Remedios Varo from childhood until death. Kaplan creates an intelligent discussion on Varo's pieces by thoroughly examining the influences and events in Varo's life that are directly related to her mystical canvases. Not only is Kaplan's writing eloquent, Varo's paintings, sketches, and photographs are seen continually throughout the book. I would highly recommend this book to any individual who is interested in learning more about Remedios Varo or women in the Surrealist movement.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Cynthia Wall on September 16, 2001
I was lent this book--and I hated to give it back! I showed it to 10 friends, all of whom wrote down the title and publisher, wanting to spend the $30+ just to have it to see and share with others. As a contemporary of Salvador Dali and a serious art student in Spain, she evokes images and thought forms that bear looking at in person. Oh, I'd LOVE to attend to her work in an art gallery.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Irina Leyva-Perez on April 22, 2003
This book is not only an excellent account of Remedios Varo's life and work, but also of all the other artist who integrated a group in the 1940's in Mexico. It is very interesting and illustrative of a side of the Mexican art that still deserves more research, the expatriate artists who found a home in this country during the forties and fifties.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jeffrey Lebowski on January 3, 2009
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First off, this book has many and fantastic full-color reproductions of the artwork of Remedios Varo. Just for those, it's worth buying; it's worth carrying around with you everywhere. But also the writer, Janet Kaplan, does an incredible job of framing the paintings within the story of Varo's life. I found the biography itself beautiful and fascinating, and I generally don't like biographies. The author's sentences are art, like the paintings. This is a book which really opens up universes and makes you feel magic. I find something new in it every time I open it. Buy it now! Buy a copy for everyone you know! :)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Charles Johnson on January 24, 2010
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My first contact with Varo's paintings was at the Sao Paulo Biennial in the late 1980's, and I felt two emotions: I was stunned by the excellence of her work, and dumbfounded at realizing she was a virtual unknown. I feel that her surrealistic vision and her painting skills are 100% on a level with Magritte and Dalí. This bio, lavishly illustrated with photos throughout her life and images of her works, is a marvel. It should be required reading in every art department, everywhere. I hope that one day soon Varo will get the recognition she deserves.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Chris Lane on June 4, 2000
Janet A. Kaplan examines the exquisite works of Remedios Varo from childhood until death. Kaplan creates an intelligent discussion on Varo's pieces by thoroughly examining the influences and events in Varo's life that are directly related to her mystical canvases. Not only is Kaplan's writing eloquent, Varo's paintings, sketches, and photographs are seen continually throughout the book. I would highly recommend this book to any individual who is interested in learning more about Remedios Varo or women in the Surrealist movement.
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