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Edmund Gordon: Leonora Carrington, 2 November 2017

The Surreal Life of Leonora Carrington 
by Joanna Moorhead.
Virago, 304 pp., £20, April 2017, 978 0 349 00877 6
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‘The Debutante’ and Other Stories 
by Leonora Carrington.
Silver Press, 153 pp., £9.99, April 2017, 978 0 9957162 0 9
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Down Below 
by Leonora Carrington.
NYRB, 69 pp., £8.99, May 2017, 978 1 68137 060 6
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Leonora Carrington and the International Avant-Garde 
edited by Jonathan Eburne and Catriona McAra.
Manchester, 275 pp., £75, January 2017, 978 1 78499 436 5
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... What​ Leonora Carrington remembered most clearly about being a debutante in 1935 was her tiara ‘biting’ into her skull. In her short story ‘The Debutante’, the teenage narrator hates balls, ‘especially when they are given in my honour’ (Carrington’s parents threw one for her at the Ritz), so she engages a hyena to take her place: the animal is about the right size, and she reckons nobody will make it out properly in the candlelight ...

At Tate Liverpool

Alice Spawls: Leonora Carrington, 23 April 2015

... The women surrealists​ were considered secondary to the male,’ Leonora Carrington reported; their role was to inspire, as well as cook and clean. But she was never comfortable with being a muse, or as Breton cast her, the femme enfant whose naive access to the unconscious made her the ideal conduit for the male artist ...

At Tate Modern

Hal Foster: ‘Surrealism beyond Borders’, 26 May 2022

... Dalí, contributed the picture as barren dreamscape, a lush version of which was later conjured by Leonora Carrington and Dorothea Tanning. Remedios Varo pushed this kind of painting towards medievalesque illustration, while Frida Kahlo spiked it with symbols of personal and native trauma. Others painted dream chambers which sometimes open onto ...


Peter Campbell, 31 August 1989

A Particular Place 
by Mary Hocking.
Chatto, 216 pp., £12.95, June 1989, 0 7011 3454 2
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The House of Fear, Notes from Down Below 
by Leonora Carrington.
Virago, 216 pp., £10.99, July 1989, 1 85381 048 7
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Painted Lives 
by Max Egremont.
Hamish Hamilton, 205 pp., £11.95, May 1989, 0 241 12706 8
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The Ultimate Good Luck 
by Richard Ford.
Collins Harvill, 201 pp., £11.95, July 1989, 0 00 271853 7
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... as they normalise their condition, or blamed or pitied or sympathised with for failing to do so. Leonora Carrington, on the other hand, writes of terrible things; in her world luck rules, not rationality. It is governed by fates and harpies, marked by the delightful cruelties and horrible transformations, exceptional pleasures and disgusting rewards of ...

At the North Miami Museum

Mary Ann Caws: Alice Paalen Rahon, 20 February 2020

... other émigré Surrealists in Mexico City, including Cesar Moro, Remedios Varo, Benjamin Péret, Leonora Carrington, Gordon Onslow-Ford and his wife, the writer Jacqueline Johnson, who became a close friend to whom Rahon dedicated a few poems. Her last collection, Noir Animal, appeared in 1941, although she did contribute some work to Dyn, the journal ...

At Las Pozas

Mike Jay: Edward James’s Sculpture Garden, 21 May 2020

... with visiting Surrealists and other artists who had fled the war in Europe. He became a patron of Leonora Carrington, who was also starting a new life there after the collapse of her romance with Max Ernst. Carrington was a frequent visitor to Xilitla, where she painted frescoes of minotaurs on the walls of the new ...

Molasses Nog

Ange Mlinko: Diane Williams, 18 April 2019

The Collected Stories 
by Diane Williams.
Soho, 764 pp., £20, October 2018, 978 1 61695 982 1
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... into place. I resist describing Williams as an absurdist or surrealist (though I often think of Leonora Carrington, Samuel Beckett and Gertrude Stein while reading her). The narration is too homely, driven by idiosyncrasy, intimacy, and the valiant effort to maintain dignity. Besides, the sentences that come out of our mouths are routinely weirder than ...

At Tate Modern

Lucie Elven: Cecilia Vicuña, 13 April 2023

... when moving house.) It was painted using a technique Vicuña learned from a research trip to visit Leonora Carrington in Mexico City in 1969: a liquid outline on a thin, single-colour background, filled in with ‘plenty of white’ and then colour last of all. The original inspiration was the undermining of European subjects and conventions by Indigenous ...

Cloak and Suit and Slipper

Rye Dag Holmboe: Reviving Hirshfield, 13 July 2023

Master of the Two Left Feet: Morris Hirshfield Rediscovered 
by Richard Meyer.
MIT, 267 pp., £55, September 2022, 978 0 262 04728 9
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... which Breton, Duchamp and Ernst (her soon to be ex-husband) stand behind Nude at the Window, while Leonora Carrington sits on a rocking chair with a stone phallus between her legs. The split with Ernst was acrimonious, not least because Guggenheim believed her husband was still in love with Carrington, with whom he’d ...

I, too, am an artist

Linda Nochlin: Dora Maar, 4 January 2001

Dora Maar with and without Picasso: A Biography 
by Mary Ann Caws.
Thames and Hudson, 224 pp., £24.95, October 2000, 0 500 51009 1
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... female auxiliary. It is worth remembering that it was not until the artists Remedios Varo and Leonora Carrington got to Mexico, away from the stifling embrace of the Surrealist phallocracy, that they produced their most original work.Several questions remain to be asked at the end of Caws’s provocative study. One concerns the status of the portrait ...

The Dining-Room Table

Lucie Elven: Anne Serre sheds her armour, 21 April 2022

The Fool and Other Moral Tales 
by Anne Serre, translated by Mark Hutchinson.
Les Fugitives, 228 pp., £10.99, June 2021, 978 1 8380141 5 5
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The Beginners 
by Anne Serre, translated by Mark Hutchinson.
New Directions, 128 pp., $14.95, July 2021, 978 0 8112 3031 5
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... is no moral in the ending – Serre has jettisoned that element from the folktale genre. Like Leonora Carrington, she does not mimic life, but has an interest in stories as machines with their own life on the page. But stories like Carrington’s ‘The Debutante’ fantasise about freedom (the freedom of a hyena ...

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