Carlos Merida

Of all the Central American masters, I think Guatemalan artist Carlos Merida (1891-1985) is the quintessential Modernist. He traveled to the US and Europe early in his career and met with many great artists. He also worked with the Mexican muralists. And he was probably the first Central American artist to integrate the lessons of Modernism and indigenous themes in his paintings. In this drawing, you see his most recognizable images: geometric abstraction with a slight figuration. More importantly, you see the textiles and the colors of his country.
This small, colored pencil, 8″ x 6″ on vellum, Cuatro personajes, is valued at $8,000. It was done in 1970. Recently an earlier work, a 1945 painting, sold for $150,000. Merida’s paintings from the 1970s typically sell for $85,000 to $100,000.