surinenglish

Leonora Carrington: The eccentric alchemist of rebellion

  • "Leonora was a female from a good family who rebelled against the role of behaving correctly"

This is a profile of an artist whose work is currently on show at the 'We are completely free. Women artists and surrealism' exhibition at the Picasso Museum in Malaga. Read more about it here.

Leonora Carrington (1917-2011) was born into a high society family in the United Kingdom, who decided that she should receive a strict education. She, however, wanted to study painting.

“Leonora was a female from a good family who rebelled against the role of behaving correctly,” says José Lebrero. She discovered surrealism in 1936 and fled to Paris with Max Ernst. When he was forced into exile she came to Spain, where they thought she was crazy and put her in a psychiatric centre in Santander. “She was given electric shock treatment and medicated with 'Cardiazol', before she managed to escape to Mexico,” says José.

There, she discovered a place which would help her to build a vision of a different world. “Her work brings together different skills which have to do with alchemy and other ancient fields of knowledge. They were the foundations of an original style which is different from the others.”

As an elderly lady, when asked what women in the 21st century should aim for, she replied: “to stop being an illusion.” She held numerous exhibitions of her work during her life, and died at the age of 94.