Leonora Carrington

The artist and writer Leonora Carrington began her storied career as a comrade of the Paris Surrealists, where she was a friend to both bohemians such as Paul Éluard and wealthy patrons including Peggy Guggenheim. An anti-Nazi activist, Carrington emigrated from Europe following World WAR II, settling first in New York and later in Mexico, where she socialized with artists strongly influenced by Surrealism and the predominant Magical Realist styles. Carrington’s work was grounded in strong images of feminine power and creativity, such as childbearing, knitting, magic, and cooking. They drew heavily from primitive glyphs and allegorical figurative imagery, especially horses. Carrington’s carnivalesque 1954 oil painting Juggler depicts an unnamed rite attended by various shamanistic figures and imaginary beasts. In the foreground can be seen a female protagonist riding a horse as it rears onto its hind legs.

Carrington’s work represents one of the few contributions by female artists in early Modernism. Her work has been shown worldwide since the late 1930s, including the 1967 São Paolo Biennial, MoMA, the Museo de Arte Moderneo in Mexico City, and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, among others.


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