Saturday, May 28, 2011

Surrealistic Sunday - Leonora Carrington (April 6, 1917 - May 25, 2011)


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I had a completely different post ready for this feature, until I saw the news on Friday that Leonora Carrington died at the age of 94.

Leonora Carrington  was a British-born Mexican surrealist painter and novelist. She was the lover and muse to Max Ernst, one of the main founders of the surrealism movement. Read more here, at Art Knowledge News. And the obituary in The Guardian.




"I didn't have time to be anyone's muse... I was too busy rebelling against my family and learning to be an artist." --Leonora Carrington, 1983

18 comments:

  1. She was a woman of courage, to be sure.

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  2. What an amazing woman!

    The Surrealists are the explorers of the subconscious - pulling out images and showing them to us. They have had a vast influence (subconsciously :-)) on the images we use to see the world.

    Looking the Carrington pictures you show here (particularly the second one), I immediately made a connection to Maurice Sendak. Not so strange really - Sendak's Wild Things are typically surrealist. Probably because my grandson (4) has been around a lot for the past few days - he had to have a small operation in hospital - and I bought the DVD of Spike Jonze's film of Sendak's classic Where the Wild Things Are. I was sceptical about a film of the book but we both loved it - as we both love the book!

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  3. Very striking works of Art.

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  4. You've introduced me to another wonderful surrealist whose work I look forward to exploring further. I love her view of animals and the bravery of her explorations. There's an essential sweetness in her paintings that makes them comfortably strange rather than forbiddingly cold and calculated.

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  5. A superb post ... and what a woman! I read all the extra bits and loved the entirety. Thank you for piecing it all together so that we can enjoy the total experience. So eccentric and her own person. I always think that it would be great to be able to be like that.

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  6. Sandy - yes! In those days it took courage to pursue anything other than the expected roles for women. A pioneer to be sure! She was a friend of Frida's. The latter snubbed the Surrealists - good for her - another woman before her time, who made up her own mind about things!

    Francis - I recalled a connection between Bettelheim and Sendak, so I googled it. Here if quote from Sendak:

    "Wild Things ran into a lot of trouble when it was published,'' Sendak told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch in a Dec. 4, 1989, story. ''It was considered ugly. It was considered far-fetched. It was considered too frightening to children. Bruno Bettelheim denounced the book, which put a damper on it for a long time." rest Maurice Sendak's Thin Skin

    Aguja and SB - glad you enjoyed it!

    Peace and love to all!

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  7. long live imagination!



    Aloha from Honolulu

    Comfort Spiral

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  8. More than many other Surrealists' work, these strike me as the products of dreams - inspired or informed by dreams, at least. The cast of characters in the second one is fascinating, and reminded me, also, of some of the Medieval painters - like Bosch. And the naive perspective, night setting, and use of colors reminded me of Henri Rousseau.

    It also made me think of Coyote, the mischief maker. The character in the painting has one dog foot and one human foot... I can picture this painting coming to life and this character would be saying and doing very different things depending on which foot was on the earth, and whish was not. I imagine the sticks help it never to have both feet on the ground at once. I have no idea if this was her intention, but all of that comes across to me when I ponder this piece.

    And the other figures all seem ecclesiastic. The leaders and curia of some ritualistic sect.

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  9. I always learn so much from your posts.

    Surrealism has always fascinated me but disturbed me simultaneously. I never bothered to learn very much about the artists and what they were about though.

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  10. I love the quote you included, tells so much of her personality

    the first painting is amazing

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  11. Great tribute! You have chosen a wonderful portrait to top this post. Love her work.

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  12. Steve - I don't see Rousseau but perhaps that's because I always think of lush foliage and wildness when his name is mentioned. I noticed one foot is animal, the other human and wondered what that meant...and how that beast will come to bear on whatever is going on in the painting. And I just noticed that bird flying by! Thanks, Steve!

    Yogi - yeah, I think Surrealism does both of those things and quite well!

    JM - thanks for stopping by!

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  13. My impression was that the "human" foot was the "bad" one, never to be used.

    Timely post about a person who lived long and accomplished much - my Great Aunt Bella died over the weekend, at the age of 102. She also lead a splendid life, hers being of service to the sick or disabled.

    Whether at 94 or 102, these lives were long and inspirational, and a gift to those of us left behind.

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  14. CR - I recall when you told the story of Aunt Bella's 100th birthday party. She was so serene and lovely. And I can't help but laugh at that photo you took of her sister, whose name I can't remember. So much for "only the good die young" - Bella was a good woman.

    I'm glad to get your comment tonight. Having a hard time sleeping...

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  15. I always marveled at her imagination. It attracts and repels at the same time. I really like her quote.

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  16. Dianne - I too found the quote telling.

    Olga - What you say is so true. I feel that way about a lot of Surrealist works. Thanks for returning by!

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  17. great post, love her work, as i always seem to love this style of art.xxx

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