September 29, 2020

Remedios Varo, Insomnio I, 1947

Spanish-Mexican surrealist Remedios Varo was known for her mysterious paintings of androgynous figures, engaging in the art of magic or the occult. This work is a little different. It was one of several commissions by the Bayer pharmaceutical company (a longstanding client of hers), and formed part of an advertisement for sleeping pills. Varo’s depiction of insomnia is eerie and evocative: two crystalline-winged moths edge towards a candle flame, while floating pairs of eyes linger in the space beyond.