Art of the Beholder – New This Week – Feminist Icon & Artist Leonora Carrington


Novo and Alexandra (IG alexandra_parsons) discuss the life, times, and works of Leonora Carrington, a pioneering surrealist artist, who was born in 1917 in Clayton Green, England. 

Raised in a wealthy English family, Carrington’s artistic talent emerged early. She attended art schools in London and developed a fascination with the surrealists, particularly the works of Max Ernst.

In the late 1930s, Carrington moved to Paris where she became part of the surrealist circle. There, she formed a romantic and artistic partnership with Ernst. However, their relationship was interrupted by the outbreak of World War II, during which Ernst was interned as an enemy alien. This tumultuous period deeply influenced Carrington’s work, leading to themes of transformation, mysticism, and the subconscious.

Fleeing the war’s chaos, Carrington eventually settled in Mexico City, where she would spend most of her life. In Mexico, she found a rich cultural landscape that resonated with her interests in mythology and indigenous traditions. Her art evolved, blending European surrealism with Mexican folklore and mysticism, resulting in a unique and compelling style.

Carrington’s works often feature fantastical creatures, symbolic imagery, and dreamlike landscapes, reflecting her interest in exploring the subconscious mind. She worked across various mediums, including painting, sculpture, and writing. Her literary works, such as “The Hearing Trumpet” and “The Stone Door,” further showcased her imaginative prowess and narrative skill.

Throughout her life, Carrington remained fiercely independent and unconventional. She rejected societal norms and embraced her own eccentricities, becoming an icon of feminist and avant-garde movements. Despite facing challenges and setbacks, including struggles with mental health, Carrington continued to create art that captivated audiences around the world.

Leonora Carrington passed away in 2011, leaving behind a legacy of creativity, rebellion, and mystique. Her contributions to surrealism and her fearless exploration of the subconscious continue to inspire artists and admirers alike, ensuring her place as one of the most influential figures in 20th-century art.

Our piece on Carrington is available wherever you get your podcasts or listen below.

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