Friday, December 5, 2014

Leonora Carrington ~ My New Crush

Leonora Carrington (1917-2011) is fascinating not only for her masterful art work but for her crazy life history (including escaping Nazis and her parents plan for an insane asylum).  A powerful figure in the Surrealist movement, she was also an early Feminist. Most of all, she was her own person.

This painting shows hectic wallpaper with images of black and white people joined together. The chair sports a black tail and blue monarch butterflies are flying from the tablecloth. I love the golden orb in the center of the painting as well as the white rose crying from the ceiling. There is bread and fruit;  two glasses full of wine. It is a still life that is anything but still.

True, this isn't the type of painting I'm usually drawn to (whatever that is) but what attracts me here is the highly energetic mix of humor and serious mystical study. I believe in this artist; the visions that Carrington show here are somehow "proven" by the intense level of work. I can't pretend to understand her but I do know that I am moved by these images.

Many years ago I came across Leonora Carrington's paintings in the National Gallery of Ireland. There was a show there that claimed her as "the Celtic Surrealist" as her mother was Irish and she used Catholic and Celtic imagery in her paintings. I wondered then, as now, why she is not better known in the United States --- she lived a short time both in NYC and Chicago.

Somehow I think this is about to change.

Mrs. Moorehead's Alchemical Kitchen


  1. Hi Susan,
    This is fascinating and exciting! I knew nothing of her, so thanks very much! Deb H.

  2. Hi Deb,
    Her novel, "The Hearing Trumpet" is wonderful too --- I think you would enjoy it!