Adaptive reuse refers to the process of reusing an existing building for a purpose other than which it was built or designed for. Adaptive reuse is an effective strategy for optimizing the operational and commercial performance of built assets. Adaptive reuse of buildings can be an attractive alternative to new construction in terms of sustainability and a circular economy. Not every old building can qualify for adaptive reuse. Architects, developers and entrepreneurs who wish to become involved in rejuvenating and reconstructing a building must first make sure that the finished product will serve the need of the market, that it will be useful for its new purpose, that it will be competitively priced. Adaptive Reuse is defined as the aesthetic process that adapts buildings for new uses while retaining their historic features. Using an adaptive reuse model can prolong a building's life, from cradle-to-grave, by retaining all or most of the building system, including the structure, the shell and the interior materials.
This type of revitalization is not restricted to buildings of historic significance and can be a strategy adopted in case of obsolete buildings. Some urban planners see adaptive reuse as an effective way of reducing urban sprawl and environmental impact. Revitalizing the existing built fabric by finding a new use or purpose for obsolete buildings can be a wonderful resource to a community by "keeping neighborhoods occupied and vital". According to Yung and Chan, "adaptive reuse is a new kind of maintainable rebirth of city, as it covers the building’s lifetime and evades destruction waste, encourages recycles of the embodied dynamism and delivers substantial social and economic profits to the world". According to Zaitzevsky and Bunnell, old buildings physically link us to our past and become a part of our cultural heritage. Retention and rehabilitation of existing buildings reduces the consumption of building materials, resources and water needed for new construction. Cost savings on building material: Adaptive reuse involves the refurbishment of existing building members, labor intensive process and relies less on purchasing and installing many new building materials.
Cost of building materials has risen over the past few decades, while the cost of labor has increased only marginally compared to that of building materials. Therefore, it is economically viable to reuse an existing building. Cost savings on demolition: Demolition costs can run as high as 5% to 10% of the total cost of new construction; this expense is overlooked by many building owners. Some urban areas have strict building safety regulations and may not allow the usage of a swinging ball and other more efficient demolition techniques. Under these circumstances, buildings must be demolished piece by piece, which can be quite expensive and time consuming. Saves time. A major advantage of renovating an existing building is that a refurbished portion of the building becomes suitable for occupancy before completion of the whole project; this provides as a huge advantage for private developers as it keeps the cash inflow during while the rest of the project undergoes construction. Tax advantages: Tax provisions in several states and municipalities across the United States, provide incentives for rehabilitating historic structures.
Availability of Federal and local funds: The United States' National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 established matching grants-in-aid, obtained through state historic preservation offices, that can be used for the acquisition and restoration of properties listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Community development block grants provided to municipalities by the U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development are a major source of funds for neighborhood preservation projects. Decreased public and social costs: As these heritage settlements have been getting crowded in the past decades, people have been looking for farther lands for development; this rapid urbanization and urban sprawl cause several harms to the society. Lack of adaptive reuse of existing built assets, on a societal level, has caused disturbance due to dislocation of residents, economic decline and disruption of community life leading to abandoned and obsolete neighborhoods. Conserves energy: Old buildings represent an investment of energy and labor made at a time when costs were lower.
Demolition of these buildings requires new expenditures of energy to generate new building materials and to assemble them on a cleared site. Additionally, modern building systems have high life-cycle costs and operational energy costs associated with them whereas traditional masonry and stone buildings are more climate responsive. An environmental benefit of reusing built assets is identified to be the retention of the original buildings "embodied energy". According to Schultmann and Sunke, "new buildings have much higher embodied energy than those that are adaptively reused". Reddy and Jagadish support this statement by saying that "the reuse of building materials can provide substantial savings in embodied energy that would otherwise be wasted". Building owners, architects and other stakeholders undergo an in-depth process of decision making before determining whether a building should be conserved and remodeled for a different use or just demolished for the land it sits on develop a new building on that land.
Leonora Carrington OBE was a British-born Mexican artist, surrealist painter, novelist. She lived most of her adult life in Mexico City and was one of the last surviving participants in the Surrealist movement of the 1930s. Carrington was a founding member of the Women's Liberation Movement in Mexico during the 1970s. Carrington was born in Clayton Green, Lancashire, England, her father was a wealthy textile manufacturer, her mother, was Irish. She had three brothers: Patrick and Arthur. Educated by governesses and nuns, she was expelled from two schools, including New Hall School, for her rebellious behaviour, until her family sent her to Florence, where she attended Mrs Penrose's Academy of Art, she briefly, attended St Mary's convent school in Ascot. In 1927, at the age of ten, she saw her first Surrealist painting in a Left Bank gallery in Paris and met many Surrealists, including Paul Éluard, her father opposed her career as an artist. She returned to England and was presented at Court, but according to her, she brought a copy of Aldous Huxley's Eyeless in Gaza to read instead.
In 1935, she attended the Chelsea School of Art in London for one year, with the help of her father's friend Serge Chermayeff, she was able to transfer to the Ozenfant Academy of Fine Arts established by the French modernist Amédée Ozenfant in London. She became familiar with Surrealism from a copy of Herbert Read's book, given to her by her mother, but she received little encouragement from her family to forge an artistic career; the Surrealist poet and patron Edward James was the champion of her work in Britain. Some works are still hanging at James' former family home West Dean College in West Dean, West Sussex. In 1936, Leonora saw the work of the German surrealist Max Ernst at the International Surrealist Exhibition in London and was attracted to the Surrealist artist before she met him. In 1937, Carrington met Ernst at a party held in London; the artists returned together to Paris, where Ernst promptly separated from his wife. In 1938, leaving Paris, they settled in Saint Martin d'Ardèche in southern France.
The new couple supported each other's artistic development. The two artists created sculptures of guardian animals to decorate their home in Saint Martin d'Ardèche. In 1939, Carrington painted a Portrait of Max Ernst as a capture of some ambivalences in their relationship; this portrait was not her first Surrealist work though. Before that, between 1937–38, Leonora painted Self-portrait called The Inn of the Dawn Horse, it is now exhibited in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Sporting white jodhpurs and a wild mane of hair, Carrington is perched on the edge of a chair in this curious, dreamlike scene, with her hand outstretched toward the prancing hyena and her back to the tailless rocking horse flying behind her. With the outbreak of World War II Ernst, German, was arrested by the French authorities for being a "hostile alien". With the intercession of Paul Éluard, other friends, including the American journalist Varian Fry, he was discharged a few weeks later. Soon after the Nazis invaded France, Ernst was arrested again, this time by the Gestapo, because his art was considered by the Nazis to be "degenerate".
He managed to escape and, leaving Carrington behind, fled to America with the help of Peggy Guggenheim, a sponsor of the arts. After Ernst's arrest, Carrington was fled to Spain. Paralyzing anxiety and growing delusions culminated in a final breakdown at the British Embassy in Madrid, her parents had her hospitalised. She was given "convulsive therapy" and was treated with the drugs cardiazol, a powerful anxiolytic drug, Luminal, a barbiturate. After being released into the care of a nurse who took her to Lisbon, Carrington ran away and sought refuge in the Mexican Embassy. Meanwhile, Ernst had married Peggy Guggenheim in New York in 1941; that marriage ended a few years later. Ernst and Carrington never resumed their relationship. Three years after being released from the asylum and with the encouragement of André Breton, Carrington wrote about her psychotic experience in her novel Down Below. In this, she explained how she had a nervous breakdown, didn't want to eat, left Spain; this is. She illustrates all, done to her: ruthless institutional therapies, sexual assault, hallucinatory drugs, unsanitary conditions.
It has been suggested that the events of the book should not be taken given Carrington's state at the time of her institutionalization. She created art to depict her experience, such as her Portrait of Dr. Morales and Map of Down Below. Following the escape to Lisbon, Carrington arranged passage out of Europe with Renato Leduc, a Mexican Ambassador. Leduc was a friend of Pablo Picasso, agreed to a marriage of convenience with Carrington so that she would be accorded the immunity given to a diplomat's wife. Leduc spirited Carrington away to Mexico, which she grew to love and where she lived, on and off, for the rest of her life; the pair divorced in 1943. Events from this period continued to inform her work. After spending part of the 1960s in New York City, Carrington worked in Mexico once again. While in Mexico, she was a
Historic Synagogue Justo Sierra 71
The Historic Synagogue Justo Sierra 71 or Synaguoge Nidjei Israel is an old Ashkenazi synagogue in Mexico City. The building serves both as a synagogue and cultural center of the Jewish community in the historic center of Mexico City, it was constructed in 1941. This religious site was built for Orthodox Jewish immigrants from Poland, Hungary, Germany and Austria in La Merced neighborhood, it was the second Ashkenazi synagogue in Mexico City. The architect Raquel Franklin claims that the building's Torah ark was influenced in its design by that of the synagogue of Shavel in Lithuania. Synagogue Nidjei Israel Judaism in Mexico
The Zócalo is the common name of the main square in central Mexico City. Prior to the colonial period, it was the main ceremonial center in the Aztec city of Tenochtitlan; the plaza used to be known as the "Main Square" or "Arms Square", today its formal name is Plaza de la Constitución. This name does not come from any of the Mexican constitutions that have governed the country but rather from the Cádiz Constitution, signed in Spain in the year 1812. So, it is always called the Zócalo today. Plans were made to erect a column as a monument to Independence, but only the base, or zócalo was built; the plinth was buried long ago but the name has lived on. Many other Mexican towns and cities, such as Oaxaca, Mérida and Guadalajara, have adopted the word zócalo to refer to their main plazas, but not all, it has been a gathering place for Mexicans since Aztec times, having been the site of Mexica ceremonies, the swearing in of viceroys, royal proclamations, military parades, Independence ceremonies and modern religious events such as the festivals of Holy Week and Corpus Christi.
It has received foreign heads of state and is the main venue for both national celebration and national protest. The Zocalo and surrounding blocks have played a central role in the city's planning and geography for 700 years; the site is just one block southwest of the Templo Mayor which, according to Aztec legend and mythology, was considered the center of the universe. The modern Zócalo in Mexico City is 57,600 m2, it is bordered by the Cathedral to the north, the National Palace to the east, the Federal District buildings to the south and the Old Portal de Mercaderes to the west, the Nacional Monte de Piedad building at the north-west corner, with the Templo Mayor site to the northeast, just outside view. In the centre is a flagpole with an enormous Mexican flag ceremoniously raised and lowered each day and carried into the National Palace. There is an entrance to the Metro station "Zócalo" located at the northeast corner of the square but no sign above ground indicates its presence. Prior to the conquest, the area that the Zócalo occupies was open space, in the center of the Aztec capital Tenochtitlan.
It was bordered to the east by Moctezuma II's "New Houses" or Palace and to the west by the "Old Houses", the palace of Axayacatl where the Emperor Ahuitzotl, Moctezuma's uncle and immediate predecessor lived. A European-style plaza was not part of the conquered Aztec Tenochtitlan; the current Zócalo occupies a space south-southwest of the intersection of roads that oriented Tenochtitlan. The north–south road was called Tepeyac–Iztapalapa; the Tlacopan road led west and stretched east a little before leading into the lake that surrounded the city at the time. These roads were the width of three jousting lances according to Hernán Cortés; this intersection divided the city into four neighborhoods. The sacred precinct, containing the Templo Mayor, was located to the northeast of this intersection and walled off from the open area for commoners; as to this area's relationship to the teocalli proper, some historians say that it was part of it, but others say no. The modern plaza of Mexico City was placed by Alonso Garcia Bravo shortly after the invasion when he laid out what is now the historic center.
After the destruction of Tenochtitlan, Cortés had the city redesigned for symbolic purposes. He kept the four major neighborhoods or "capullis" but he had a church, now the Cathedral of Mexico City, built at the place the four adjoined, he had the Temo become the Cathedral. The southern half was called the "Plaza Mayor" and the northern one was called the "Plaza Chica". Early in the colonial period, the Plaza Chica would be swallowed up by the growing city. During early colonial times, the Plaza was bordered to the north by the new church, to the east by Cortés's new palace, built over and with the ruins of Moctezuma's palace. On the west side of the plaza, the Portales de Mercaderes were built, south of Cortés’ other palace, the Palace of the Marquis of the Valley of Oaxaca. On the south side, was the Portal of the Flowers, named so after its owner, Maria Gutierrez Flores de Caballerias. Next to this portal was the House of a government building for the city. Both of these were behind a small drainage canal.
Flooding was always the city in general. The plaza was flooded in 1629 with water two meters deep, ruining many of the merchants located there and requiring many of the portals to be rebuilt; the project to control flooding, known as the desagüe drafted Indian men over nearly the whole colonial period, to work on this major infrastructure project. Controlling flooding meant health benefits for Mexico City residents by preventing human waste from polluting the city during floods and controlling mosquitoes, which spread disease, it changed the ecological system that supported birds and fish populations and allowed for Indian cultivation of crops. After the Cathedral was constructed in the latter half of the 16th century, the look of the Plaza changed; the old church faced not to the Plaza itself. The new Cathedral's three portals towered south over the Plaza and giving the area a north-south orientation, which exists to this day. Over much of the 17th century, the Plaza became overrun with market stalls.
After a mob burned the Vic
Manuel Felguérez Barra is a prominent abstract artist of Mexico, part of the Generación de la Ruptura which broke with the muralist movement of Diego Rivera and others in the mid 20th century. Felguérez was born in Zacatecas in 1928, but political instability caused his family to lose their land there and move to Mexico City. In 1947, he had the chance to travel to Europe and impressed with the art there, decided to dedicate himself to the vocation. Unhappy with the education at the Academy of San Carlos in Mexico, he did most of his studies in France, where he specialized in abstract art, something, not accepted in Mexico at the time, his exhibitions were limited to galleries and the production of "sculpted murals" using materials such as scrap metals and sand. As attitudes in Mexico changed towards art, Felguérez found acceptance for his work and remains active at over eighty years of age. Manuel Felguérez was born on his family’s San Agustín del Vergel hacienda near Valparaíso, Zacatecas in 1928.
It was a turbulent time as Zacatecas was involved in the Cristero uprising and while the fighting began over religion, it become about land as well. His father owned the family hacienda, the great great grandson of landholders, but by the early 20th century, these landowners were despised by the general populace. Various of the hacienda’s workers demanded control of the land by force, with battles between loyalists and the insurgents on the property. In the 1930s, there were land expropriations under Lázaro Cárdenas, which took away most of the family’s holdings; the family decided to flee and completely abandon the hacienda in 1934 for Mexico City. Felguérez’s father hoped for compensation for the lost lands from the federal government, but he died after a year when Felguérez was only eight years old. Felguérez’s mother never returned to Zacatecas, warning her son that if he returned to Valparaíso, they would kill him, she preferred to be with her parents in the capital city. Felguérez would return about six decades to Zacatecas for the first time to open an art museum named after him.
Felguérez grew up with his mother and her family, which owned the Ideal Theater on Dolores Street in Mexico City. The change from rural farm life to city life was essential to his development; the family had a number of financial downturns, first losing the theatre losing a grocery store they opened after only two years, making the family poor. There was pressure to join gangs and rob, he liked to box and see lucha libre at the Arena México and tried marijuana in his youth. However, he received his primary and high school education through the Marists and was a Boy Scout from age eight to age twenty three with his best friend Jorge Ibargüengoitia; the Scouts encouraged him to read authors such as Dostoyevsky and G. K. Chesterton and took hiking trips including one to Iztaccíhuatl. Scouting gave him the opportunity to travel to Europe in 1947 just after the end of World War II when the cultural scene was recovering, his intention was to go with Ibargengoitia for a jamboree, but the trip cost 5000 pesos which he could not pay.
The two found a way for cheaper passage and got the France on their own, angering the Mexican Scout leadership, who expelled them. They decided to hitchhike around various countries including Italy, Switzerland and England, staying at houses of Scouting contacts and visiting museums. Although his mother wanted him to be a doctor, he was impressed by the European art he saw that of English painter William Turner and announced to Ibargengoitia that he would become an artist. Although Ibargengoitia laughed at the time, he write that he felt that this is when Felguérez’s vocation began, he entered the Academy of San Carlos in 1948, but lasted only four months as he did not like its conformity with the dominant artistic movement in Mexico called the Escuela Mexicana de Pintura. He decided to go back to Europe along with his friend Jorge Wilmot. To get the money, they went to other areas to find archeological pieces to sell. At that time, there was not the consciousness, he studied at the Grande Chaumière Academy in Paris, under French-Russian Cubist artist Ossip Zadkine, who became his mentor.
He returned to Mexico in 1950 for family reasons and between and 1954, he studied for a bachelors in anthropology and history as well as taking classes in modern art at Mascarones and studying the craft of terracotta at La Esmeralda with Francisco Zúñiga. He met his first wife, Ruth Rohde in 1951, their families would not let them marry. To appease the families, they married again in the Catholic Church, he tried to sell sculptures made in his workshop, without success, but did make some money making designing lamps for Enrique Anhalt. He and his first wife had a store selling handcrafts. In 1952, he obtained a scholarship from the French government to study again in Paris at the Colarossi Academy, he returned to France which his wife and daughter, with a large studio in the Casa de Mexico, where he met Lilia Carrillo, married to Ricardo Guerra. He soon afterwards married Carrillo, they remained married until Carrillo died in 1974, five years after a ruptured aneurism in her back left her paralyzed.
He married his current wife Mercedes Oteyza shortly after that. Over his lifetime he has done a variety of work in addition sometimes out of necessity, it includes taxidermist, artisan and teacher. He was a university professor, retiring after thirty years, never depended in art sales to live; as a teacher, his
Old Portal de Mercaderes (Mexico City)
Old Portal de Mercaderes in the historic center of Mexico City was and is the west side of the main plaza. This side of the plaza has been occupied by commercial structures since the Spanish Conquest of Mexico in 1521. Today the west side of the square is dominated by two sets of buildings with Madero Street dividing them as it runs west from the Zocalo to the Palace of Bellas Artes; the buildings on the north side of Madero is occupied by offices on the upper floors and shops at ground level. The southside buildings are dominated on the ground floor by fine jewelry stores, marking the beginning of the "Centro Joyero Zocalo." This center extends west for two block engulfing Palma Street between Madero and 16 de Septiembre streets. Most of the upper floors of the buildings here are occupied by rooms associated with the Hotel de Ciudad de Mexico and the Hotel Majestic; the first colonial building was built on this side of the square by Melchor Davila, dedicated to selling food and other merchandise.
From this building stretched street vendors as far north as Santo Domingo. Much of the land here was granted to Don Rodrigo de Albornoz, Count of Santiago, secretary to King Carlos V and named the accountant for New Spain. In 1524, the city council passed an ordinance stating that the owners of property fronting the Zocalo could build covered archways in front of their establishments on city land and rent the space to merchants; the reason for this ordinance was. These covered archways would provide an alternative to the open Zocalo during the rainy season. Much, but not all, of the west side of the Zocalo was owned by Albornoz, including the portion at the southwest corner of the plaza, near the city council building, it was nearly impossible to build covered archways here because of a gulley running close to the facade of the houses here. Albornoz made an arrangement with the city; the task was completed in 1529. The resulting archway ran the entire side of the Zocalo, covering what is now Madero and 16 de Septiembre Streets.
Through all of the colonial period into the post-Independence period, the west side was known as the Portal de Mercaderes. In 1629, massive flooding in the Zocalo required all of the portals surrounding the plaza to be rebuilt; the Portal was again reconstructed in the mid 18th century by one of Albornoz heirs. During the 17th century, this area sold silk and brocade cloth as well as fruit and medicinal herbs. In the 19th century, hat shops established themselves here, other vendors attached shelving onto the arches' columns to sell toys. At night, the archway would sell candy to those taking walks the area. In the mid nineteenth century, the Portal was divided into two with the opening of Plateros street, now Madero; this ended the Portal being considered a single entity. From the beginning of the colonial period, the Zocalo and the area west has been an area covered in vendors’ stalls; the building of the covered archways did not work to regulate commercial activity here. Though the arches were built by property owners, the city still owned the land on which the arches stood.
This led over who should control the vendors. Taking advantage of the ambiguous situation, many peddlers set up shop, sometimes permanently, all over the archways, into the street and into the Zocalo itself; this would be a constant issue for both the Portal and the Zocalo area in general, with the occasional attempt to clear out ambulatory vendors and other unregulated selling. However, these sellers would reappear again as the effort to keep them out waned, a problem what would repeat itself again and again over the history of the downtown; this problem was again tackled in the 1990s as part of an effort to revitalize the historic center of Mexico City. Despite much initial resistance, this area has been free of street peddlers since that time, with the west side of the Zocalo now dominated by jewelry shops that are located in the first floor of the buildings. Most of the buildings now on the west side were built over the last century or so. Starting in the late 1950s, the facades of these owned buildings facing the Zocalo began to be regularized to a neocolonial style, using tezontle and cantera to match the Federal District Buildings and the National Palace.
On the portion south of Madero Street, what appears to be one building is two. They are occupied by two major hotels, the former Hotel Majestic and the Gran Hotel de la Ciudad de Mexico. Both buildings date from the late 19th and early 20th centuries and both hotels tend to still be called by their original names; the Hotel Majestic takes up most of the building visible from the Zocalo, although its entrance is on Madero Street. Parts of this building date from the 18th century, but was renovated by architect Rafael Goyeneche in 1925 and most of the interior dates from that year; the Hotel Majestic itself opened in 1937. The facade facing the Zocalo is done in neocolonial style, ordered by the government to have all of the buildings of the Zocalo match in style; the hotel has a large number of rooms that face the Zocalo as well as a rooftop restaurant that overlooks it. The Hotel Majestic is now owned by Best Western; the Gran Hotel occupies the extreme southern end of this side, while it appears to be the same building as that which contains the Hotel Majestic, in reality it is separate.
This building came into being as the "Mercantile Center" in 1899, bui
Remedios Varo Uranga was a Spanish surrealist artist working in Spain and Mexico. She was born María de los Remedios Alicia Rodriga Varo y Uranga in Anglès, a small town in the province of Girona, in northeast Spain, in 1908, her mother named Varo in honor of the Virgen de los Remedios after her deceased older sister. Varo's father, Rodrigo Varo y Zajalvo, was a hydraulic engineer, the family traveled between the Iberian Peninsula and into North Africa for her father's job. During these long trips, Varo's father would have her copy the technical drawings of his work with their straight lines and perspectives, which she reproduced faithfully, he encouraged independent thought and supplemented her education with science and adventure books, notably the novels of Alexandre Dumas, Jules Verne, Edgar Allan Poe. As she grew older, he provided her with texts on philosophy; those first few years of her life left an impression on Varo that would show up in motifs in her work such as machinery and artifacts.
Romanesque and Gothic architecture unique to Anglès showed up in her artistic production. Varo's mother, Ignacia Uranga Bergareche, was born to Basque parents in Argentina, she was a devout Catholic and commended herself to the patron saint of Anglès, the Virgin of Los Remedios, promising to name her first daughter after the saint. Varo had two surviving siblings: a younger brother Luis. Varo was given the basic education deemed proper for young ladies of a good upbringing at a convent school - an experience that fostered her rebellious tendencies. Varo took a critical view of religion and rejected the religious ideology of her childhood education and instead clung to the liberal and universalist ideas that her father instilled in her. Varo drew throughout he painted her first painting at age twelve; the family moved to Madrid in 1924 and Varo entered the prestigious Escuela de Bellas Artes at the age of 15 under the tutelage of Manuel Benedito. Varo met her husband Gerardo Lizárraga at the Escuela de Bellas Artes and married him in San Sebastian in 1930.
The couple left Spain for Paris to be nearer to. Both Lizarraga and Varo worked for the Thompson Adversting Firm while in BarcelonaAfter a year, Lizarraga got a job in Spain and the couple moved to Barcelona, at the time the European centre of the artistic avant-garde. In 1935, Varo participated in a drawing exhibition in Madrid; the following year, Varo contributes three works to a show organized by the “Logicophobists.” In 1937 Varo met political activist and artist Esteban Francés and leaving her husband behind to fight in the Spanish Civil War, moved to France with both Francés and the poet Benjamin Péret to escape from the political unrest. Varo shared a studio in Paris with Péret and Francés. Varo never divorced Lizarraga and had different partners/lovers throughout her life, but she remained friends with all of them, in particular with husband Lizarraga and Péret. In Paris, Varo lived in poverty, working odd jobs and having to copy and forge paintings in order to get by. At the beginning of World War II, Péret was imprisoned by the French government for his political beliefs.
A few days after Varo was freed, the Germans entered Paris, she was forced to join other refugees leaving France. Péret was freed soon after, the two managed to obtain documents to allow them to escape the war to Mexico. On 20 November 1941 Varo, along with Péret and Rubinstein, boarded the Serpa Pinto in Marseilles to flee war-torn Europe; as a result of this terror she faced, many stated. Varo began her interest in esoteric doctrine of G. I. Gurdjieff in 1943 and joins the group in 1944. Varo considered her time in Mexico to be temporary, but except for a year spent in Venezuela, she would reside in Mexico for the rest of her life; this trip to Venezuela was part of a French scientist expedition which she joined in Paris during trip there from Mexico. She returns to Mexico after one year abroad in 1949. In 1952 Varo married the Austrian political refugee Walter Gruen, his financial stability allowed Varo more time to devote to her painting. The first works of Varo's, a self-portrait and several portraits of family members, date to 1923 when she was studying for a baccalaureate at the School of Arts and Crafts.
In 1924, aged 15, she enrolled at the Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando, in Madrid, the alma mater of Salvador Dalí and other renowned artists. Varo got her diploma as a drawing teacher in 1930, she exhibit in a collective exhibition organised by the Unión de Dibujantes de Madrid. At school, surrealistic elements were apparent in her work, as it had arrived in Spain from France, she took an early interest in it. While in Madrid, Varo had her initial introduction to Surrealism through lectures, exhibitions and theater, she was a regular visitor to the Prado Museum and took particular interest in the paintings of Hieronymus Bosch, most notably The Garden of Earthly Delights, as well as other artists, such as Francisco de Goya. As a young woman Varo had no doubts. After spending a year in Paris, Varo moved to Barcelona and formed her first artistic circle of friends, which included Josep-Lluis Florit, Óscar Domínguez, Esteban Francés. Varo soon separated from her husband and shared a studio with Francés in a neighborhood filled with young avant-garde artists.
The summer of 1935 marked Varo's formal invitation into Surrealism when French surrealist Marcel Je