Partner Xavier Villaurrutia
Panteón Francés de la Piedad Mexico City, Cuauhtémoc Borough, Distrito Federal, Mexico
Agustín Lazo Adalid (1896 – January 28, 1971) was a Mexican artist and playwright who is credited with introducing surrealism to Mexico. Although he grew up during the era of the Mexican Revolution, his time in Europe in the 1920s and early 1930s, set his aesthetics towards the avant-garde movements of that continent, rather than towards Mexican muralism, making him a part of the Los Contemporáneos or “Grupo sin grupo.” His work in art and theater influenced each other, with his art having theatrical themes and his theater having emphasis on sets and visual cues. Lazo retired from art in 1950, after the death of his long-time partner poet Xavier Villaurrutia, supposedly never painting or writing again.
Agustín Lazo was born in Mexico City in 1896 to a wealthy and well-known family. He did not have economic concerns like many other artists so he could choose what he wanted to study, write, design and paint.
After studying architecture for a year, he dedicated himself to painting. He began his art studies at the Escuela al Aire Libre de Pintura in Santa Anita, founded by Alfredo Ramos Martínez in 1913 In 1917, he briefly attended the Escuela Nacional de Bellas Artes, along with Rufino Tamayo, Julio Castellanos and Gabriel Fernández Ledesma, studying under Saturnino Herrán .
He began his art career after the Mexican Revolution with Adolfo Best Maugard but then left for Europe living for a while in Paris in 1922. He visited Europe again in 1925 then lived there from 1927 to 1931. He spent his time in Europe traveling in France, Italy, Belgium and Germany, visiting museums and the studios of various avant-garde artists meeting artists such as Max Ernst and Giorgio de Chirico . He spent most of his time in Paris, which then was a magnet for international artists of various types, which introduced him to surrealism. He lived and worked as an artist in the city, sharing a studio with Alfonso Michel in Montparnasse . At this time, he also became interested in theater, learning set design and stage machinery with Charles Dullin of Théâtre de l'Atelier. He also began living with his longtime partner poet Xavier Villaurrutia .
Lazo was described as a “gentleman of solitude, tact, and good taste, sobriety and dignity... and having aristocratic manners. He was a discreet person and burned many of his letters and other personal items, so little is known of his personal life.
Lazo ended his artistic career in 1950, when Villaurrutia suddenly died and according to stories, never wrote or painted again. Salvador Novo wrote that he slowly died over the next twenty years, in part because as the last heir he was overwhelmed by the wealth he was inheriting from his relatives.
He died at age 74 from a cerebral hemorrhage and hypertension on January 28, 1971, at his home in Mexico City. He was buried at the La Piedad French cemetery.
My published books:
BACK TO HOME PAGE