Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Leonora Carrington, by Courtney Werner

Leonora Carrington is a notable female artist of the Surrealist movement. She was born in England in 1917, and was known to be a rebellious and disobedient girl. She was expelled from various Catholic schools and insisted on becoming an artist, despite her parents' hesitations. As a young woman she met Max Ernst, a leader of the Surrealist movement, and began a love affair with him. They ran off to Paris together, and Carrington was able to develop her skills as a surrealist painter. However, the romance ended when Ernst left her to go to the United States, and shortly after, Carrington suffered a psychotic breakdown. She was institutionalized and prescribed Cardiazol, a powerful drug that induces seizures. She experienced suffering during this period of her life, but the suffering influenced her creativity. Carrington later married and moved to Mexico in 1942, where she started a family. She continued to produce art late into her life, and died in 2011 at the age of 94.

Ordeal for Owain, 1959

Leonora Carrington's work is filled with fantastical characters, dreamlike scenes, and symbols, as is characteristic of surrealism.  She had an interest in magic and the occult. As a young child, she listened to the Celtic folklore told to her by her Irish nanny, and she incorporated elements of Aztec and Mayan culture into her art when she moved to Mexico. The work Ordeal for Owain displays her interest in magic. It features fantastical creatures that resemble humans, which is characteristic of Carrington's art, engaging in some sort of alchemy.

Who art thou, White Face?, 1959

Who art thou, White Face? also shows Carrington's ability to create interesting magical creatures. Carrington also incorporated personal symbolism into her works that she preferred not to explain. The title of this work is an unanswered question, leaving the audience to ponder what it means. 

Beasts Portfolio, 1998

These sketches, entitled Beasts, show a different side of Carrington's work. Carrington captured the dark times of her mental illness in her artwork. 

I started out by browsing surrealist artists because I really like the strange, dreamlike images of surrealism. I find them very interesting to look at, and I think some of the fantastical imagery describes human emotion better than realistic imagery does. Leonora Carrington caught my attention because she emerged as a notable female artist, which was difficult at the time. I think her biography is very interesting, and her paintings are thought-provoking and beautiful.

Carrington, Leonora,1917-2011, artist. (2013). In Ades, Dawn,writer of added commentary., et al (Eds.), Leonora carrington. Dublin; New York: Irish Museum of Modern Art; D.A.P./Distributed Art Publishers, Inc. Retrieved from http://search.library.duke.edu/search?id=DUKE006037005
Carrington, L., 1917-2011. (1988). The house of fear : Notes from down below. New York: E.P. Dutton. Retrieved from http://search.library.duke.edu/search?id=DUKE000794493
Leonora Carrington. Retrieved from http://www.theartstory.org/artist-carrington-leonora.htm

No comments:

Post a Comment