Alvaro Guevara Puppets c.1930–40

Artwork details

Artist
Alvaro Guevara 1894–1951
Title
Puppets
Date c.1930–40
Medium Oil paint on canvas
Dimensions Support: 1377 x 1531 x 28 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition Presented by Hubert Lacroix, the artist's grandson 1999
Reference
T07488
Not on display

Display caption

A sense of anxiety and threat hangs over Guevara`s painting, perhaps reflecting the atmosphere of Europe on the brink of war. Puppets substitute for people, their features exaggerated into caricature. The metaphor suggests both the collapse of contemporary politics into farcical play-acting, and the helplessness of individuals tugged by the strings of history. Originally from Chile, Guevara had been a fashionable portraitist in London before moving to France in 1930. As he struggled for recognition there, the ease of his earlier work was replaced by a melancholic mood.

September 2004

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