Sunday, 5 June 2011

homage to the last surrealist

Larry Roibal's obituary portrait of the artist
Considered the last of the original surrealist
artists, British-born painter, writer and sculptor
Leonora Carrington passed away last week in
her adopted home of Mexico City where 
she lived for decades.

“The Inn of the Dawn Horse” self-portrait, 1937
A rebellious all-around artist, she was embraced
by the Surrealists in the 30's when she was still
an art student as the belle who was having a
heartfelt affair with German artist Max Ernst
who introduced her in Paris to Pablo Picasso,
Salvador Dalì, André Breton, Yves Tanguy and briskly 
gained her reputation as an untamed anarchist.

”The Baby Giant”, 1948
”Myth of 1,000 eyes”, circa 1950
Surrealism sought to release the creative potential
of the unconscious mind but treated women with
disguised misoginy, Leonora had to fight to show
her refusal of a lower status as a surrealist 
female artist and, most of all, the notion 
of being anyone's muse.

Leonora in her studio, Mexico City 1955
Her affair with Ernst came to an end when first
the French, then German Nazis imprisoned him
for his subversive art, Leonora sought refuge in
Spain where she had a nervous breakdown,
she threathened to plot in killing Hitler himself
at Madrid's British Embassy and was committed
to an insane asylum in Santander.

”4,706th floor”, 1958
Leonora escaped, made her way to Lisbon, fled to 
New York and then moved to the most 'surrealistic'
country, Mexico, where she found freedom,
love and the most favorable environment 
to conduce her own imaginative art.
She became a Mexican citizen: surrealist
painter Remedios Varo, Nobel laureate Octavio
Paz, Spanish movie director Luis Buñuel and
Frida Kahlo were among her friends.

”The Hearing Trumpet” Carrington's 1976 novel
Her first solo exhibition, arranged by Edward
James, took place at Pierre Matisse's gallery
in New York in 1947; fifteen years later she
was well known in Mexico and Europe and not
only for her paintings fusing surrealism with
mystical explorations of feminity, by that time
she created collages and sculptures and
wrote articles, stories, essays and poetry.

”Bird Bath II”, 1978
She became a living legend, securing her
foothold in the arts of the twentieth century
through thousands of paintings, sculptures,
collages and tapestries exhibited all over
the world. She created mythical worlds in
which magical beings and animals occupy
the main stage portraying a reality that
transcends what can be seen.

Sculpture from Monterrey's San Pedro ”Devas” exhibition
Sculpture from Mexico City Estación Indianilla's recent exhibition
”Hija Minotauro”, bronze sculpture, 2008
As her longtime friend, Mexican author Elena
Poniatowska who wrote the novel ”Leonora”
based on her extraordinary life, said ”Leonora
was truly a woman who was one of a kind.” 
¡Adiòs querida, que el olvido te ignora!

Frame from ”Si fuera una flor” short movie
by Javier Martin-Dominguez, 2008

1 comment:

  1. Her works create an aura of mystery.
    She was a talented artist!!