R.I.P.: Leonora Carrington: Surrealist dead at 94Posted: May 29, 2011 Filed under: art 1 Comment
I just found out this morning that Leonora Carrington, a woman who led an interesting life and ‘palled around with Surrealists,’ died recently at 94 years of age.
She was so much more than Max Ernst’s girlfriend (although that is the thing she is chiefly remembered for). I know her for her paintings, which include monsters and strange animal/human hybrids, often engaged in what look like strange ceremonies with light and shadow (as well as a sense of menace) straight out of Goya. I remember finding a magazine full of reproductions of her paintings when I was in college and being entranced by them.
One of the interesting things about Carrington is that she came from a wealthy Catholic family in England who desperately wanted their daughter to grow up to be ‘normal’ and ‘a good girl,’ but, the more they tried, the more she sought to find her own path. They sent her away to a ‘convent school’ (do those still exist? From what I know, I’m guessing it was the female version of “military school” where the school promises the exasperated parents that they will ‘discipline’ the kid) and the nuns finally kicked her out after she broke every rule.
She was also a writer and a sculptor, but I don’t know much about her accomplishments in those activities.
I know her as the novelist who wrote The Hearing Trumpet. It's a fantastic work — very surrealistic, of course, with a little old lady protagonist who raises little old ladyness to a sort of martial art.
I'm sorry to hear of her passing; now I want to seek out more of her art.