Myth, the Occult, and Experimental Writing: The Letters of Remedios Varo

Student Author(s)

Tessa Angell

Faculty Mentor(s)

Dr. María Claudia André

Document Type


Event Date



This research focuses on the Spanish-born Surrealist artist, Remedios Varo, who lived and worked in Mexico for the majority of her life. Although Varo is best known for her paintings, she also experimented with various forms of writing. Inspired by modern science, Gothic architecture, and esoteric doctrines, such as the Tarot, alchemy and Kabbalah, her artistic productions reflect these surreal interests. Her writing includes various letters, short essays, personal accounts of her dreams, and a play she wrote in conjunction with fellow artist Leonora Carrington. Unfortunately, Varo’s writing was not published until the 1990s, and then, only in Spanish. By translating her eight published letters from Spanish to English, and making them available online, more people can study her writing in conjunction with her paintings. Through studying Varo’s written work, one can realize a greater appreciation and understanding of her visual art. This research is part of the project Explorations in Surrealism: Myth, the Occult, and Experimental Writing in the Works of Mexican and European Surrealist Women Artists (1930’s to 1960’s), headed by Dr. María Claudia André. The objective is to make further discoveries and connections in the field of women and surrealism, and to make this information more accessible to scholars and the public through dissemination on the web.

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