Sunday, May 29, 2011

Tribute to Leonora Carrington 1917 - 2011

Leonora Carrington, world renowned Surrealist painter and longterm resident of Colonia Roma, Mexico City, died this week on Wednesday May 25th aged 94 from pneumonia complications in a Mexico City hospital. British-born from Chorley in Lancashire, she studied art at the Chelsea School of Art, but received very little encouragement from her family to pursue an artistic career. She met Max Ernst, Surrealist painter, in 1937 and they travelled together to live in Paris. Life became very difficult after the outbreak of World War 11 with Ernst being arrested twice, and Carrington fleeing to Spain where she was institutionalised by her family in a Madrid asylum following a nervous breakdown. She managed to escape from a nurse, took refuge in the Mexican Embassy, and shortly after arrived in Mexico City where she continued to live and work for the rest of her life apart from a spell in New York in the 1960s. She married in Mexico, had two sons, and became part of a strong artistic community that included other exiled artists such as the Spanish Surrealist Remedios.

She is perhaps best well known for her Surrealist paintings which are most haunting and expressive, but I really like her sculptures many of which adorn the streets here in Mexico City. A real favourite is the crocodile sculpture pictured at the start, which is permanently displayed on Reforma outside the mall Reforma 222. The other sculptures pictured above are from a fairly recent temporary exhibition (2008) also along Reforma, and date from when Carrington was in her eighties - so still robust at this time to produce these wonderful large-scale bronzes. I love the one of the harpist playing the stringless harp which is named something like "The Harmony of Silence". Check out other global posts this week by clicking here for My World Tuesday. Enjoy!!


Sylvia K said...

Great post and very interesting! Thanks for the information, her work is beautiful! Hope you've had a great weekend!


Ms. Becky said...

She was an amazing artist and woman. this is a most interesting post, thanks for sharing. I'm really loving the previous one too - the blue house. that color is unequaled. and it's a great shadow shot. have a beautiful day!

A Cuban In London said...

I have to admit that I found out about her work through her obituary, despite the fact that surrealism is one of my favourite art movements. I went recently to an exhibit at the Tate on surrealism. Very good.

Many thanks.

Greetings from London.

PeterParis said...

Interesting! I knew a little of her fantastic paintings, but nothing about her sculptures! Thanks!!

Wendy said...

What an incredible/difficult life she had. I love how Reforma is an outdoor gallery with museum worthy art.