Mar 192015
 

Jaime López Bermúdez (Mexico City 1916-) is a Mexican artist and architect who lived and worked for at least several months in Ajijic in the mid-1940s. He exhibited some of his painting in a group show in 1944 at the Villa Montecarlo in Chapala, alongside paintings by Betty Binkley, Ernesto Butterlin (“Lin”), Otto Butterlin, Ann Medalie, Sylvia Fein and others.

His stay at Lake Chapala is briefly described in an article published in 1945 by American author Neill James, who had moved to Ajijic a couple of years earlier. Jaime López Bermúdez, “a surrealist from the Capital, occupied a huertita overlooking the lake and worked for several months with his charming wife, Virginia, and a Mexican cat for company.”

In reality, Virginia was a long-time girlfriend, and López Bermúdez’s status was correctly listed as “single” on the certificate of his marriage to American-born Josephine Blanche Cohen Sokolski in Mexico City in December 1949. Unfortunately the marriage did not last very long. After living in Jaime’s experimental house (see next paragraph) for about a year, the couple moved to the U.S., but split up shortly after their son Jon Dario (now Cody Sokolski) was born in Manhattan on 1 December 1951. Jaime returned to Mexico.

Portrait of Jaime Lopez Bermudez, ca 1951, by Elizabeth Timberman.

Portrait of Jaime López Bermúdez, ca 1951, by Elizabeth Timberman.

In the early 1950s, López Bermúdez gained reputation as an architect. He was considered one of Mexico’s more important “modernist” architects, and was featured in a special August 1951 issue of Arts and Architecture devoted to Mexican architecture. That issue included photos of a one-bedroom home designed and built by López Bermúdez (for himself) in the Santa Fe district close to Mexico City. The design was a modernist, steel-framed one bedroom house, with garage underneath, which could be completed for under 1500 dollars. According to the accompanying text, “Jaime López Bermúdez is a painter as well architect, this duel role being a commonplace among young and old of his profession in Mexico. The mural on the front of the house is his.”

At a later stage of his life, though the precise dates are unclear, López Bermúdez opened and ran an art gallery, Galeria Coyote Flaco, in upscale Coyoacán, in the southern part of Mexico City, for several years. In the early 1960s, López Bermúdez was the first to recognize the artistic talent of British-American photographer Jon Naar. He persuaded Naar to exhibit his photographs of Mexico City street scenes in the Galeria Coyote Flaco in 1963. The exhibit, entitled “El Ojo de un extrañjero” (“The eye of an outsider”) launched Naar into a hugely successful career as an artist-photographer.

Sombrero Books welcomes comments, corrections or additional material related to any of the writers and artists featured in our series of mini-bios. Please use the comments feature at the bottom of individual posts, or email us.

  10 Responses to “Jaime Lopez Bermudez, artist and architect”

  1. Arquitecto y Pintor Jaime Lopez Bermudez, was my uncle and brother of Angel Marcelo Lopez Bermudez (my father) a renown Mexican Violinist, Conductor, Composer, and founding member of the world famous Magic Violins (Los Violines Magicos de Villafontana). All of my uncles Manolo an Ingeneer/Attorney and uncle Alfonso an Attorney were probably a group of brothers who were very inteligent and creative. My uncles and my fayher left us a great deal of memories and we love every moment.

    • Thank you for your comments, which are very interesting. What a talented family!
      I would like to learn more about the life and works of your uncle, and will email you some specific questions in the hope that you can help me understand more about him. Thanks again for taking the time to comment, Tony

    • Alphonso
      My mother was your uncle Jaime’s first wife. I believe that makes us first cousins. I live in Chicago. I was born Jon Dario Lopez-Bermudez. Mom & Jaime divorced shortly thereafter my birth. I met Jaime only once.

      If this makes it to you, please respond to me at Cody@Codyleesongs.com. Then I will give you lots more info. I do have an old photograph of you with my mother Josephine and your brother Jaime.

      Cody Sokolski

  2. Hi, I’m checking the biographical information of Jaime Lopez Bermudez for a research work. Please, please, contact me

  3. My Uncle Jaime…What a great man! Intelligent, Artistic, Smart, Talented, Handsome. Magnificent culinary expert; Fantastic Host! Fifty years ago, with his architectural designs, he had the vision to develop the solutions to resolve the present ecological issues we have today. This month would have been his 100th birthday. I love you Uncle!

    • Diana,
      My mother was your uncle Jaime’s first wife. I believe that makes us first cousins. I live in Chicago. I was born Jon Dario Lopez-Bermudez. Mom & Jaime divorced shortly thereafter my birth. I met Jaime only once.

      If this makes it to you, please respond to me at Cody@Codyleesongs.com. Then I will give you lots more info. I do have an old photograph of you with my mother Josephine and your brother Jaime.

      Cody Sokolski

      I also reached out to Macello’s son above

  4. Hi,

    I am the président of an association in France in Bataville.
    We work to protect Bataville and to présent work of modern architects.
    We like the work of Jaime Lopez Bermudez.
    We like to présent his work here in France.
    Can you help us ?
    Best regards
    Ghislain GAD
    Président of the association ” La chaussure Bataville”
    http://www.lachaussure-bataville.org

    • What an interesting comment! Sorry, but I am unable to help and have so far been unable to establish direct contact with any family members. However, a nephew of Jaime Lopez Bermudez, and a niece, have both commented on this profile, so perhaps one of them might be able to help you. I wish your project every success, TB.

  5. I am Jaime’s son by way of his first marriage. I would love to be able to contact his family as my mother separated from Jaime shortly after my birth. If you could help with any email addresses, I would be most grateful.
    thank you,
    Cody

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