The workshop of 

Leonora Carrington

The radical nature of the surrealist movement was the ideal medium through which Leonora could display her stand on life: her struggle for the vindication of women, her opposition to traditional structures or her concern for the relationship of mankind with nature. In the surrealist language, the artist found a space to approach these themes that haunted her throughout her life.

When Leonora attended the Miss Penrose Academy in Florence in 1932, she discovered a world that would impact her life. Her later stay in Paris and entrance in the Academy that Amadée Ozenfant founded in London brought her closer to the surrealist world and roused her interest in alchemy. Her definitive involvement with the movement took place in 1937 after meeting Max Ernst. It was then that an intense relationship with the group members came about and lead to her first surrealist works.

 

Leonora found in Mexico fertile ground for her artistic production. The painful situations of her youth that retrained her freedom, even physically, found in her artistic production an unbound liberation, and in surrealism she found the ideal language. Upon arriving to the country in 1943, she quickly integrated into the cultural environment. A year later she would meet Edward James in Acapulco. The developed a relationship that left an interesting artistic legacy for the world, for Mexico and for San Luis Potosí. The correspondence be- tween them provides interesting information about their common interests and their creation. James mentions the kitchen–workshop where Leonora’s wonderful surrealist works were created. In the warmth of her new home, Leonora let her imagination run wild. Her kitchen–workshop–laboratory was the space for ideas, concerns, friendships and chats that ended up in paintings, sculptures, projects or proposals.

Zacarías Díaz Infante, Ofelia, “ The surrealist laboratory of Leonora Carrington”, Bronze and stone dreams,

Leonora Carrington  Museum San Luis Potosí,

Secretaría de Cultura: San Luis Potosí,  2020. pp.95-97

 

 

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Leonora Carrington began sculpting when she was 21 years old at Saint-Martin-d'Ardèche in France, under the guidance of renowned sculptor Max Ernst. By late 1938 she created Head Horse on gypsum. During this early stage she also produced other clay sculptures at the house where she lived with Max. Said home now houses the Maison Max Ernst Museum, in the South of France.

The young artist came to Mexico City in 1942, escaping World War II. Soon after, she met other refugee and local artist.

Between 1963 and 1990 Leonora created diverse sculpture work on various different subjects, sizes, materials and applications. They ranged from mythological, surreal characters to art objects such as masks, chandeliers and marionettes.

In 2008, encouraged by her son Pablo Weisz, a then, ninety-two year-old Leonora Carrington went through the most prolific period of her sculpture work creating more than forty sculptures in bronze and other precious metals. Most of her production during that period was done at home.

Leonora made several sketches for each project, then their clay or wax models, which were finally cast on the workshop to their final size. Leonora oversaw production for each project before it being cast.

For more than sixty years Leonora Carrington lived in her house-studio at Chihuahua Street in La Roma neighborhood in Mexico City. This means that she lived in the city till the day she died. It was in our country that she found a place to create and develop  the splendor of her plastic and literary endeavors.  

Llamazares, Fermín, “The sculptures of Leonora Carrington”,

Nature and Surrealism, Leonora Carrington Museum Xilitla,

Secretaría de Cultura: San Luis Potosí, 2020. pp. 75-77

 

 

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Here  Aku

Bronze, 2010, 76 x 44 x 40 cm

Serie of 10 pieces

Technique: Lost-wax casting

 

Llamazares Fermín, Black Book Sculptural Witness, Secretaría de Cultura: San Luis Potosí, 2017

 

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Dragonfighting

Bronze, 2009, 110 x 37 x 70 cm

Serie of 10 pieces

Technique: Lost-wax casting

Llamazares Fermín, Black Book Sculptural Witness, Secretaría de Cultura: San Luis Potosí, 2017

 

 

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Libelulix

Bronze, 2010, 30 x 20 x 04 cm

Serie of 10 pieces

Técnica: Cera perdida

Llamazares Fermín, Black Book Sculptural Witness, Secretaría de Cultura: San Luis Potosí, 2017

 

 

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