In Memoriam: The Classic Surrealism of Leonora Carrington

I’ve long been a fan of the classic Surrealism of British born artist Leonora Carrington, but I had never seen any originals of her work until my recent visit to the Martin Lawrence Gallery in San Francisco, the same gallery where I discovered the art of Robert Deyber.

Carrington’s was born in 1917, and her life was as interesting and surreal as her art — the stuff excellent movie biopics are made of. Born in Britain, she eloped with Max Ernst, hung out with Picasso, Man Ray and Dali, fled the Nazis, escaped from a Spanish psychiatric hospital and later settled in Mexico, where she built a reputation as one of the most original and visionary British artists, sculptors and writers of the 20th century.

She also helped blaze a trail for women Surrealists, going to head-to-head with the male artists of the time, while gaining acceptance in the male-centric Surrealist world. Sadly, Leonora Carrington passed away last year at the age of 94. The last of the original Surrealists, she leaves behind a legacy of inventive, challenging work. Here’s just a small part of it.

About Stephen Kelly Creative

Hi, I'm Stephen Kelly, a writer, editor, photographer and graphic designer living in beautiful San Francisco, CA, USA. Amongst the things I love are writing, photography, movies, music, fitness, travel, Batman, all things Australian, food and fun, all of which I hope to reflect in this here blog. Welcome aboard ... now let's get busy!
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19 Responses to In Memoriam: The Classic Surrealism of Leonora Carrington

  1. petit4chocolatier says:

    Wonderful art! I can’t tell you how many times I have gone on the tour at the Dali Museum in St. Petersburg, Florida and always find something new to view that I didn’t notice before. One never gets tired of the Surreal art!

  2. I know nothing about Surrealist Art, but in the “Creation of Birds” piece, I see a definite influence (whether travelling from her to Miro or Miro to her, I’m not sure) of Joan MIro’s piece “Harlequins.” Am I totally off base? Can you see it too? Or is it only a coincidence?

    • oh, absolutely … that’s exactly what I thought when I first saw her work — there’s a lot of similarities. Miro was born about twenty years before Carrington, so I’m guessing Miro was a major influence on her. Her work also borrows from the style of 15th century Spnaish artist El Greco, who also more of an Expressionist and Cubist, but whose work bordered on Surrealism. Nice call, shadowoperator!

  3. onestreetshy says:

    What a cool, cool, cool post. I find I stare a little longer when in front of a Surrealist piece. In fact, I’ll be staring at this very blog for quite some time tonight.

    • Hi Jennifer, and thanks for stopping by. I always want to know what these surrealist artists are thinking when they conceptualize their art. What mental processes are going on that produces these amazing works of art?

  4. Angeline M says:

    Great post. Interesting that so many wonderful artists and writers chose Mexico for their refuge.

  5. Paula says:

    This is a beautiful homage to Leonora Carrington. Her work impresses me too. I think I’ve just “liked” each photo in this wonderful collection. Wonderful post Stephen!

  6. Madhu says:

    Wow! These are incredible! We were fortunate to see a small retrospective of her works in the Borges Cultural Centre in Buenos Aires.

  7. Anonymous says:

    The Creation of the Birds was painted by Leonora’s best friend Remedios Varo

  8. Anonymous says:

    Creation of the Birds was painted by Remedios Varo, not Leonora Carrington

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