Leonora Carrington invites you to discover the fantastical creations of the prolific painter and internationally celebrated member of the surrealist movement, Leonora Carrington (1917-2011).
The exhibition explores Carrington’s diverse creative practice, taking a selection of key paintings made throughout her career as its starting point. A prolific painter, the exhibition explores how Carrington established her distinctive take on surrealism. Working alongside other key members of the movement, such as Salvador Dali and Max Ernst, her paintings, filled with eccentric characters which shift between plant, animal, human, objects and everything in between, will remind visitors unfamiliar with her work of her better known peers.
Arguably more famous for her personal life than her art, her biography is almost as unusual as her marvellous creations. The daughter of a wealthy British industrialist, in 1935 she turned her back on her upper-class upbringing in northern England after embarking upon a complicated relationship with Ernst, and via surrealist circles in France and New York, established a unique voice within the vibrant creative culture of Mexico in 1941.
It was in Mexico that Carrington’s practice began to expand and evolve. She filled plays, short stories and textiles with her extraordinary worlds, embracing set and costume design for productions including her own, Penelope. Leonora Carrington will showcase her work in painting alongside examples of poetry, sculpture, tapestry and design for theatre and film.
Refusing to be constrained or restricted by conventional limitations, Carrington’s expanded practice has made her an inspiration to many contemporary artists working across creative channels and platforms. Her patron Edward James commented in 1975 that ‘she has never relinquished her love of experimentation, the result being that she has been able to diversify and explore a hundred or more techniques for the expression of her creative powers’.
Leonora Carrington coincides with the 2015 Year of Mexico in the UK celebrations.