1917 – 2011 / Surrealist artist of British-Mexican origin
The young Leonora Carrington is one of many looking for an alternative, new way of life when she moves to Paris in the 1930s. A daring venture, far from the life her parents envisioned for her. She was born in 1917 to a wealthy textile manufacturer in Lancashire, England. Studying art in London, she imagines that a life in Paris would satisfy her growing need for freedom, drawn to the city’s group of Surrealist artists.
In Paris, the barely twenty-year-old meets the surrealists and – despite the disapproval and threats of her father – starts dating Max Ernst.
In this newfound freedom, Carrington develops her own unique, mystical style. It’s populated by fantastic creatures, ghosts and mythical animals. In her painting, she merges myths, alchemy and shamanism to a cosmic whole – a feverish labyrinth held together by the omnipotence of dreams.
And although many still reduce Carrington to her relationship with Ernst, it rather is the development of her artistic handwriting that occupies her.
Much more than her relationship with Ernst, Carrington is shaped by Mexico, where she lives and works from 1942 until the end of her life. In this distant exile, she finds the ideal place to reinvent herself. Here she combines her imaginative worlds with South American myths.
But the work away from the artistic metropolis put Leonora Carrington below the radar of the art world. Only a few years before her death in 2011, the art market discovered the idiosyncratic artist, and in no time her work earned millions.