UCL Slade School of Fine Art, The Slade, University College London, Gower St, Kings Cross, London WC1E 6BT
33 Fitzroy Square, Fitzrovia, London W1T 6EU
Álvaro Guevara Reimers (Valparaíso, Chile, 13 July 1894 – Aix-en-Provence, France, 16 October 1951) was a painter, based in London and loosely associated with the Bloomsbury set. In the early summer of 1921, Christopher Wood met José Antonio Gandarillas Huici, a Chilean diplomat. Gandarillas, a married homosexual fourteen years older than Wood, lived a glamorous life partly financed by gambling. With Gandarillas in London, Wood met Ivor Novello and became the object of Guevara's romantic interest. Guevara would later marry Wood's ex-fiancée, Meraud Guinnes. Alvaro Guevara was the first acknowledged love of Edith Sitwell's life
Guevara left Chile in 1909 and arrived in London on 1 January 1910 and found himself closely allied with Duncan Grant's Bloomsbury circle and Roger Fry's Omega Workshop artists. He attended Bradford Technical College, studying the cloth trade, but also spent two years secretly studying at the Bradford College of Art. After failing his technical college exams he went on to the Slade from 1913 to 1916 and had a one-man show at the Omega Workshops.
He married Meraud Guinness (1904-1993), a painter and member of the Guinness family, and settled in France. In Paris, he met Gertrude Stein. Stein sent Carl Van Vechten a catalogue of an exhibition of Guevara's paintings at a gallery on the rue de Seine, Paris.
Guevara enjoyed a considerable reputation in London during the twenties, but was subsequently almost totally forgotten except for his portrait of Edith Sitwell.
He died in Aix-en-Provence on 16 October 1951.
Meraud Guinness, 1930. A portrait of the artist's wife, the painter Meraud Guinness, made shortly after their marriage in 1930. According to the sitter it was painted in London, probably in the Fitzroy Square studio the couple occupied for a few weeks before settling in France.
Edith Sitwell, by Álvaro Guevara, 1916. Edith Sitwell is seated on an Omega Workshops dining chair, a modern piece of furniture designed by the painter and art critic Roger Fry, who ran his decorative arts venture, the Omega Workshops, from 33 Fitzroy Square, London, in the heart of Bloomsbury. Both Edith Sitwell and Alvaro Guevara patronised the Omega Workshops.
Nancy Cunard was twenty-three years old in 1919 when she posed for this portrait by Alvaro Guevara in the opulent splendour of her mother's Grosvenor Square mansion.
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