The Venezuelan painter Héctor Poleo is reemerging today as a major figure in modern Latin American art, though he enjoyed an international reputation in South America, Mexico, and the United States during his lifetime. Inspired by the social and political ideals of the Mexican Muralists Diego Rivera, José Clemente Orozco, and David Alfaro Siqueiros, his early work typically celebrated indigenous Latin American culture and social customs. Eventually his art moved toward symbolic surrealism.
What is your relationship to loss?
Poleo traveled the Andean region in his early 40s. In his works of the period he addressed the social character of the groups he encountered. In this sensitive rendition of a community burial procession, we see figures arranged in a dreamlike formation against a striking South American landscape. The poignant humanity of the burial ceremony creates a striking contrast with the topography, color, and light of the natural landscape.
Gift of the Edna and Fred L. Mandel Foundation