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Leonora Carrington : surrealism, alchemy and art / Susan Aberth.

By: Aberth, Susan L.
Contributor(s): Carrington, Leonora, 1917-2011.
Material type: materialTypeLabelBookPublisher: Aldershot : Lund Humphries, 2004Description: 160 pages ; 29 cm.Content type: text Media type: unmediated Carrier type: volumeISBN: 0853319081(hbk).Subject(s): Carrington, Leonora, 1917-2011 | Carrington, Leonora, 1917-2011 -- Criticism and interpretation | Surrealism | Magic in art | Artists -- Mexico -- Biography | Occultism in art | Mexico -- In artDDC classification:
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Item type Current location Collection Call number Copy number Status Date due
Non-Fiction Davis (Central) Library
Non-Fiction 759.2 CAR 1 Available

Enhanced descriptions from Syndetics:

This is the first book to survey the life and work of Surrealist artist Leonora Carrington (born 1917). nineteen-year-old debutante, she escaped the stultifying demands of her wealthy English family by running away to Paris with her lover Max Ernst. She was immediately championed by Andre Breton, who responded enthusiastically to her fantastical, dark and satirical writing style and her interest in fairy tales and the occult. Her stories were included in Surrealist publications, and her paintings in the Surrealists' exhibitions. ended up in the 1940s as part of the circle of Surrealist European emigres living in Mexico City. Close friends with Luis Bunuel, Benjamin Peret, Octavio Paz and a host of both expatriate Surrealists and Mexican modernists, Carrington was at the centre of Mexican cultural life, while still maintaining her European connections. overview of this intriguing artist's rich body of work. The author considers Carrington's preoccupation with alchemy and the occult, and explores the influence of indigenous Mexican culture and beliefs on her production.

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Table of contents provided by Syndetics

  • Introduction: The magikal art of painting
  • The reluctant dTbutante
  • Ernst, Surrealism and the femme sorciFre
  • Heaven and hell: wartime experiences
  • The alchemical kitchen: Domestic space as sacred space
  • Esoteric interests
  • Bibliography
  • Index

Reviews provided by Syndetics

Library Journal Review

Alberth (art history, Bard Coll.) here presents the first monograph in English on one of the last surrealist artists alive today. Irish-born Leonora Carrington launched her foray into art by running from her sheltered life of money and status but mostly from her wealthy family. After studying in Italy, she traveled to Paris with her lover and fellow artist, Max Ernst, but World War II separated them. She then migrated to Mexico City as part of the circle of surrealist European ?migr?s and continues to live there today. As this collection of her fascinating work reveals, Carrington soaked up fairy tales and folklore in her childhood, found the focus on the subconscious via the surrealists a stimulating enterprise, and upon arrival in Mexico discovered a potent blend of Catholicism and primitivism, culture and tribe, and life and death. Carlos Fuentes may have summed her up best when he said that her art is "a gay, diabolical, and persistent struggle against orthodoxy, which [she] conquers and disperses with imagination." Richly illustrated and the first to fully explore the artist's life and work, this important book is recommended for all libraries specializing in art and art history.-Nadine Dalton Speidel, Cuyahoga Cty. P.L., Parma, OH (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


At 19, English-born Carrington moved to Paris with Max Ernst and became one of only a few women artists to find favor with Andre Breton and other members of the avant-garde. The Surrealists exhibited Carrington's paintings and featured her writings in their periodicals. In this milieu, Carrington adopted Surrealist techniques, including frottage and automatism, and explored varied esoteric subject matter. Following WW II, Carrington relocated to Mexico City, a move that furthered her interest in alchemy and the occult. Aberth (Bard College) completed her dissertation on Carrington and thus brings a wealth of expertise based on archival research. Although the book provides a survey of both the artist's biography and themes that appear in a wide range of media (including painting, sculpture, textiles, and set design), Aberth is particularly interested in what she terms "The Alchemical Kitchen." This allegorical method of reclamation in Carrington's work compares the domestic space with culturally diverse magical practice. Documentary photographs and high-quality illustrations of many rarely exhibited works from private collections makes this long overdue work essential for all art collections. ^BSumming Up: Essential. General readers; lower-division undergraduates through professionals. E. K. Menon Purdue University