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Leonora Carrington: Surrealism, Alchemy and Art

4.31  ·  Rating details ·  805 ratings  ·  39 reviews
This is the first book to survey the life and work of Surrealist artist Leonora Carrington (born 1917). nineteen-year-old debutante, she escaped the stultifying demands of her wealthy English family by running away to Paris with her lover Max Ernst. She was immediately championed by Andre Breton, who responded enthusiastically to her fantastical, dark and satirical writing ...more
Hardcover, 160 pages
Published October 15th 2004 by Ben Uri Gallery & Museum (first published 2004)
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Bionic Jean
This is always happening to me. I become interested in an artist's work, for one reason or another. Maybe because I've seen an exhibition, or I've watched a TV documentary, or it's just my general reading. I get a book out of the library about them. I fall in love with the reproductions of the paintings - and can't bear to think of returning the book. I sigh, and order a copy of the book from Amazon.

Leonora Carrington: Surrealism, Alchemy and Art is a prime example. Leonora Carrington was an
Sep 15, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This charming book on Surrealist artist and writer Leonora Carrington contained quite a bit of fascinating material: a biography, some (rather haphazard) analysis of her work, a fairly detailed look at her various influences, and, most importantly, reproductions of many of her brilliant paintings and other works of art. The biographical material was informative and yet still fairly succinct, and included details about her childhood, schooling, relationship with Max Ernst, time spent in a Spanish ...more
“People under seventy and over seven are very unreliable if they are not cats.”

Leonora Carrington had a strange but extraordinary life. The late English surrealist painter and sculptor is regarded as a national treasure in Mexico and she lived in her own fantastic universe. She was also a writer who wrote witty and magical books. Lenora was one of the last surviving participants in the Surrealist movement in the 1930's. Her fantasy paintings are filled with half-animal, half-human creatures with
May 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
I see I have begun a journey.

I still have much much to learn before feeling comfortable with Carrington's art. While I know that the point of surrealism to encourage discomfort as as the audience reaches for new understanding, I am so clueless that I felt as though to I were grasping at understanding reather than for understanding. What I found most particularly helpful to understanding the artwork:

1. Reading Carrington's short stories that seem to companion/expand some paintings. The stories
Jul 19, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Part biography and part catalog, this book is quite a find. Carrington is a major imaginative force in both visual art and literature, and she deserves to be far more widely read. This text (Aberth's, not Carrington's) could have done with another round of editing; however, the reproductions of Carrington's artworks are impressively sharp and the colors practically shimmer. The offering of a detailed personal history of the artist contributes hugely to one's ability to interpret these complex ...more
Oct 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Excellent overview of Carrington's work and life.
Nov 26, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: art, biography, surrealism
Even if the text for this by Susan Aberth had been shit (it wasn't) I'd still love this bk just for the repros of the paintings. I wdn't exactly call the writing 'inspired' but I'd give the author credit for certainly revealing plenty about Carrington. I was particularly delighted to learn that Alexandro Jodorowsky (of "El Topo" etc fame) staged Carrington's 1957 play "Penelope" in Mexico City. I'd like to read a whole bk just about that - the one foto's very enticing. Was there music for it? If ...more
Callum McLaughlin
Jan 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
As someone who loves Carrington's artwork and wanted to know more about her as a person, this book was ideal. Alongside high-quality images of many of her pieces, there's a great amount of text detailing Carrington's fascinating life. Getting this extra context whilst marvelling at her work was exactly what I wanted. I'm now all the more excited to try some of her writing, and to continue to explore her art.

I would say, the book tells us itself that Carrington was notoriously private, giving few
Sep 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-library
It goes without saying that this book deserves 5 stars already for the pictures alone... When it comes to the writing in it, I found it both informative and charming. However, it did not live up to its subtitle (I am thinking of the "Alchemy" part); even though the author mentions Carrington's preoccupation with this theme quite often, the insights brought to light in this department were few. I think Aberth should either have focused solely on the art context, or (to justify the title) have ...more
Jun 15, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: art
The writing is deeply flawed in places, including the misuse of the word penultimate, and there isn't much biographical information for the last forty years of Carrington's life, but this is an insightful and well-illustrated introduction to her work.
Mar 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
“I didn’t have time to be anyone’s muse… I was too busy rebelling against my family and learning to be an artist.” – Leonora Carrington
A book for those who love art and all those who want to learn about the art of imprinting poetry on canvases.
Carrington was born on April 6, 1917 in Lancashire, and lived in Mexico City since the early 1940s. She is known as a surrealist artist (surrealism- dreamlike art marked by intense symbolism) whose art has been influenced by medieval alchemy, Celtic
Meg Gee
Jul 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
One of my favorite painters and people for her feminist reimaginings of intersecting belief systems and folklore. Highly recommend.
Jan 04, 2008 rated it it was amazing
This is the first book exploring the life and work of Surrealist artist Leonora Carrington (born 1917). It's a wonderful study of her painting and sculpture, with big colour prints.

In 1936, the teenaged Carrington ran away from England to France with her older lover Max Ernst. Promoted by Andre Breton her stories were included in Surrealist publications, and her paintings in exhibitions.

During the Second World War, Ernst was interned and Carrington had a break down. After escaping from an
Apr 22, 2009 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: appreciators of creepy beauty
Recommended to H. by: scholastic necessity
Shelves: art, dont-own
Beautiful and plentiful reproductions, with informative-enough accompanying text. The latter is without art, however, as unremarkable and shallow as the average undergrad's final paper in a course on women's art. It wasn't terrible writing but, in the end, it would have been preferable to read a stale encyclopedic entry of the same length than to be drowned in all the unsubstantiated assumptions Aberth weakly makes here. Definitely worthwhile for the prints and the simple facts about ...more
Jan 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Very nicely narrated. Great spreads of art and photos.
Aug 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
An amazing artist and an amazing life.
Apr 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: spirituality
Leonora Carrington is one of my favourite artists. Her short stories are also fantastic. The imagination is survival!!
Sep 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
It is a good book, I like

image: description
Bob Nichols
Apr 24, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a good introduction to Carrington. Carrington displayed her off-beat and independent personality early on, frequently pushing back on her well-to-do family who wanted her to be 'normal.' In art, Carrington found her calling and as a young woman she moved away from her native England to Europe, the U.S. and then to Mexico City.

The book is a collection of her paintings, filled with magic, alchemy and the occult. The paintings are involved, with a diverse collection of oddly matched and
May 27, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Leonora Carrington: Ave Atque Vale

Leonora Carrington (1917-2011) may be gone but her influence on the art world is indelible and still continues to grow as time passes. Born in England, she moved to Mexico in 1942 and lived there until she died on May 25. She lived a life as exotic as her paintings and sculptures and writings. Until her death she was known as the greatest living Mexican artist and one of the leading figures in the Surrealism movement. Her career was associated with the greats -
Mar 23, 2015 rated it really liked it
I'm not particularly interested in surrealism, but I love Leonora Carrington's paintings. This is a nice catalogue of her works with some biographical facts and a bit of analysis on her art. Colorful life: a staunch feminist, she rejected her British stiff-upper-lip roots, took off to Paris and painted her ass off while banging Max Ernst. After the war there was a stint in a mental institution, before she ended up in Mexico. The book doesn't go deep, but I did enjoy these fun facts about her: ...more
Feb 20, 2010 rated it liked it
I hadn't known of this artist when I began reading the book but quickly gained appreciation for her blending of Alchemy and Celtic imagery in her Hieronymus Bosch-esque paintings. It was interesting to read of her affluent childhood, dealings with Max Ernst and the Surrealists, her institutionalization and subsequent new life in Mexico and how each of these influenced her artwork. There are many many beautiful examples of her artwork -painting and a few sculptures, as well as wonderfully ...more
Nov 29, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: art, 2012-read, surrealism
I checked out this book because I wanted read some biographical information on Carrington, unfortunately, the majority of the text was based on art interpretation. The reproductions of Carrington's painting are the highlight. I have seen many of Carrington's work, in exhibitions and in other books, I am always surprised by how productive she was, even up to her last years, there is a painting that was dated 2002.
Vivienne Strauss
Gorgeous illustrations, I am in awe of her genius.
Jul 20, 2010 rated it it was ok
It took me quite a long time to be confident with my original dislike towards her extremely underrated darling of the surrealists however!
Jude Broad
Jan 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Her life is as amazing as her art.
Feb 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A nicely written biography of Carrington with a nice sampling of her work with extensive analyses of selected works. If you like surrealism, then this a great read.
Jul 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing
loved the painter. anything i can find on her i read. some of the information on alchemy was quite intriguing.
Dec 21, 2008 rated it it was amazing
By my favorite Bard professor!
Feb 28, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2013
Check out my recommendation, Discovery: A Repetitive Process, at The Lit Pub Blog here:
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