In 1959, Gerzso traveled to Greece for two weeks and was much affected by the memories of this trip. Upon return he painted Recuerdo de Grecia, the first of 36 paintings that make up his Greek period (1959-1961). In these works the artist introduced elements inspired by the bright light and the hard, dry atmosphere of the Mediterranean landscape. These works are more sensuous and contemplative than earlier ones and have a much softer palette than anything that Gerzso had produced before. John Golding characterizes this period as marking an important transition in Gerzso’s work:
. . . with the Greek experience of 1959 there enters into Gerzso’s work a new feeling of universality, and the work of the Greek period like the first, Recuerdo de Grecia, and Delos of the following year, 1960, are characterized by a feeling of openness and emotional generosity that is all their own. Subsequently when the pre-Columbian influences reassert themselves the folkloric and exotic elements have vanished. The archeology is now more purely of the mind; the pictures no longer evoke memories or associations with particular places or sites.John Golding, Gerzso, 1983, p. 19
Fifteen of the Greek period works were purchased by the well-known collector Dr. Alvar Carrillo Gil when they were exhibited in Antonio Souza’s gallery in 1960. Most of them are on view at the Museo Carrillo Gil in Mexico City.
- Galería de Arte Mexicano, Mexico City
- Phillipe Reichenbach, Houston
- Sale: Sotheby’s, New York, 19th and 20th Century Mexican Paintings, Drawings, Sculptures and Prints, May 9, 1980, lot 74
- Sale: Christie’s, New York, Latin American Sale, May 25-26, 2005, lot 34
- Sale: Sotheby’s, New York, Latin American Art, May 29, 2008, lot 49
- Sale: Sotheby’s, New York, Latin American Art, Mary 27, 2009, lot 34
- Private Collection, Boston, MA
- Paz, Octavio and J. Golding, Gerzso, Editions du Griffon Neuchâtel-Suisse, 1983, p. 11, illus. in color
- Mexico City, Museo Nacional de Arte, Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes, Textura, tonalidades y resonancias latinoamericanas, Nov. 2001 – Feb. 2003, no. 14, illus. in color p. 86
- Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara Museum of Art, Risking the Abstract: Mexican Modernism and the Art of Gunther Gerzso, July 12 – Oct. 19, 2003, no. 54, illus. in color p. 177.
This exhibition traveled to Mexico City, Museo de Arte Moderno, Nov. 12, 2003 – Feb. 22, 2004, and Chicago, Mexican Fine Arts Center Museum, March 19 – June 27, 2004
- Denver, Denver Art Museum, Gunther Gerzso: A Mexican Master, June 25, 2015 – Jan. 3, 2016