Jon Berg Fine Art
ROBERTO MONTENEGRO 1887-1968 Surrealism drawing noted Mexican artist

ROBERTO MONTENEGRO 1887-1968 Surrealism drawing noted Mexican artist

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Directory: Fine Art: Drawings: Pen: Pre 1950: Item # 1464280
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An ink on paper drawing in striking Surrealism style, signed with initials RM at lower left within the imagery by the noted Mexican muralist, painter and illustrator ROBERTO MONTENEGRO (1887-1968). The subject is a Dali style clock face, a skeletal hand pointing, and other strange almost biomorphic shapes completing the imagery. Written in pencil underneath the mat is "Hora Unica" (which I take to mean 1 o'clock, the bony index finger on that numeral on the clock face). The work on paper measures 9 3/4" by 7 1/4" inside the existing mat (the entire sheet larger, under the mat; total size as framed 16 1/2" by 11 3/4". As photos show there is mat browning consistent with age. There is further writing in pencil on reverse, which may be only framing instructions. The work is in an unusual frame, with a slide slot arrangement, protected by Plexi. Montenegro was born in Guadalajara and received very early art training there as a youngster, before even moving to Mexico City, where, at the Academy of San Carlos, his classmates were Diego Rivera and Angel Zarraga. The year 1906 saw Montenegro already in Madrid, studying the masters of the Prado Museum. After further travels in London and Italy, he moved to Paris, meeting Picasso, Braque and Juan Gris during the height of the Cubist period. Montenegro returned to Mexico in 1921, becoming a part of the intellectual circles of the time there. Later in life he promoted Mexican folk art and handicrafts, in the 1940's curating the folk art items in the Museum of Modern Art's exhibit Twenty Centuries of Mexican Art. Montenegro is said to have claimed to be a "Subrealist" rather than a "Surrealist". He died in Patzcuaro in central Mexico in 1968. This is really a striking and important drawing.