Rosa Rolanda with writer Avery Hopwood, 1924
Rosemonde Cowan Ruelas
September 6, 1895
|Died||March 25, 1970 (aged 74)|
Mexico City, Mexico
Rosa Rolanda (Rosemonde Cowan; Rose Rolando; Mrs. Miguel Covarrubias; September 6, 1895 – March 25, 1970) was an American multidisciplinary artist, dancer, and choreographer.
Rolanda was born in Azusa, California, in 1895. Her father, Henry Charles Cowan, was an engineer and her mother, Guadalupe Ruelas, was of Mexican descent. Rolanda began her artistic career in New York in 1916 as a celebrated dancer in Broadway revues. She became involved with the Mexican artist Miguel Covarrubias in 1924, and in the following year the couple traveled to Mexico, where Rolanda began to take photographs. Albums of her images were published in Covarrubias's best-selling books Island of Bali (1937) and Mexico South: Isthmus of Tehuantepec (1946), and her work was also featured in the "Ameridinian" issue of Wolfgang Paalen's journal DYN, published in 1943. During the late 1920s or early 1930s, Rolanda experimented with photograms, creating significant series of surrealist self-portraits that may have been influenced by Man Ray, who photographed Rolanda in Paris in 1923. She probably began painting around 1926. The majority of Rolanda's canvases depict colorful, folkloric scenes of children and festivals, portraits of friends such as the movie actresses Dolores del Río and María Félix, and self-portraits. Rolanda and Covarrubias married in 1930, and by 1935 they had permanently settled into his family home in Tizapan El Alto, close to Mexico City. In 1952 Rolanda exhibited her paintings in a solo show at the prominent Galeria Souza in Mexico City.—P. 7.
She died in 1970 in Mexico City, Mexico.
- Fort, Ilene Susan; Arcq, Tere; Geis, Terri (2012). In Wonderland. Munich London New York: Delmonico Books Prester. p. 235. ISBN 3791351419.
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