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Mai Onno Paint

By Viridiana Gutiérrez Tejeda

“Part of the garden is a microcosmos, where little creatures struggle for life and death.  Through all my creative years I’ve been fascinated by the various forms of that world. Ways that transform through imagination the magical illusions or colors that glow, speaking vigorous strokes, multiple lines, important composition relationships, everything finally concluding in a mystical state where the butterflies, insects, birds, plants, flowers, and stars come together in a cosmic dream.”—Mai Onno (Estonia, b.1934).

Mai Onno
Thu, Jul 30, 7pm
Bellas Artes
Hernández Macías 75

Mai Onno’s arresting works have been widely admired in such distinguished venues as the Museo de Arte Moderno in Mexico City and galleries in the United States and Canada. Since 1975 she has shown annually at Bellas Artes in San Miguel. Born in Estonia in the chaotic era of World War II (Russian invasion, German invasion), she emigrated to Canada as a teenager. A scholarship in art brought her to San Miguel de Allende to study at Instituto Allende where she met and married Lothar Kestenbaum, a German-born professor of sculpture.

She studied and worked in Europe and the United States, where son David was born in 1965, then returned to San Miguel in 1971. Even before returning to live here she had claimed a place in the Mexican art world: in 1962 she won first prize at the Fourth National Exhibition of Painting, judged by Rufino Tamayo.

A bold colorist, her works explode with a spectrum from bombshells to rainbows.


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