Tierra y excrementos (Earth and Excrement)

Maruja Mallo (Ana María Gómez González)

Viveiro, Lugo, Spain, 1902 - Madrid, Spain, 1995
  • Series: 
    Cloacas y campanarios (Sewers and Bell Towers)
  • Date: 
    1932 (April)
  • Technique: 
    Oil on paperboard
  • Dimensions: 
    43 x 55 cm
  • Category: 
  • Entry date: 
  • Observations: 
    Entry date: 1988 (from the redistribution of the Museo Español de Arte Contemporáneo [MEAC] collection)
  • Register number: 

In the period before the war, Maruja Mallo’s style went through two very distinct phases, the first of which is recognisable for its use of bright colours, and the other, covering her output in the 1930s, for its principal characteristic of muted, sombre colours.
Some years after painting La verbena (The Fair, 1927), which used iconographic motifs like dolls and mannequins, Maruja Mallo painted Tierra y excrementos (Earth and Excrement, 1932), a work that is startling both for its disturbing theme and for the evocation of the materiality of the earth. These characteristics place the artist close to telluric Surrealism, as practised by the artists from the Vallecas School. Mallo herself was a member of the group, founded by Alberto Sánchez and Benjamín Palencia, with whom she enjoyed a very close relationship in terms of both pictorial vision and friendship.

Paloma Esteban Leal