A geometric abstract painting in grey and black

Avila negra

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.

More Works by Gunther Gerzso