Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Leonora Carrington: Paintings

Leonora Carrington (1917-2011) was the last of the original surrealists. She was born in England but lived most of her adult life in Mexico City, and she is often seen as a Mexican artist. I wrote about her sculptures here. Carrington's first painting to get any critical attention was this self-portrait of 1939, which already includes a beast with the face that haunted her dreams and reappears again and again in her work.

Carrington was a follower of Carl Jung and like him was fascinated by alchemy, Kabala, dream interpretation, and other occult arts. A painting like this one – On the House Opposite, 1945 – places a coven of three witches into a house with a girl who seems to be dreaming and imagining.

Evening Conference, 1949.

Winged Ram, 1958.

Le Grand Adieu, 1958. Let me note here that as a teenager I imagined the 1950s as the squarest, most boring period in human history, all bland suburbia except for the hideous architecture. Shedding the prejudices I somehow acquired in my youth has been one of the main projects of my adult life.

Who Art Thou White Face, 1959.

The Burning of Giordano Bruno, 1964. Bruno was an astronomer, astrologer, and general thorn in the side of orthodox thought in the sixteenth century; he was burned as a heretic at Rome in 1600. Note that he appears in the painting only through alchemical and astrological symbols.

Peacocks of Chen, 1971.

Mi general aspirina y sus hombres


Unknown said...

My General Aspirin and his Men? What a title!

John said...

The tree of migraines?