Recently, Professor of French Jay Lutz gave a virtual lecture on the French poet Benjamin Péret, who resided in Mexico through the 1940’s. It was there that he encountered the works of Rufino Tamayo, the indigenous Mexican artist.
Upon his return to France, Péret published his poem “Air Mexicain” with illustrations from Tamayo. The key figure in this oneiric surrealist poem is the feathered-serpent deity of ancient Mesoamerican culture Quetzalcoatl. This lecture from Dr. Lutz will explore the motivations and outcomes of these several collaborations as Péret and Tamayo invoke Aztec culture in service of the radical artistic project of their time seeking to re-envision the human experience in every way possible.
View the illustrations from Tamayo for “Air Mexicain” here.