Tate Liverpool Exhibition: Leonora Carrington

With International Women’s Day this weekend why not celebrate an extraordinary woman by visiting the Leonora Carrington exhibition at the Tate Liverpool.

Leonora Carrington: Brothers and sisters have I none

From First Papers in Surrealism, 1942

This major exhibition of works by the Surrealist painter Leonora Carrington opens on Friday 6th March at Tate Liverpool. All LJMU staff and students are entitled to free entry: download a voucher here and present your LJMU card at the gallery.

Leonora Carrington led a remarkable life and all her experiences informed her work. She was born in 1917 into a wealthy family near Chorley, South Lancashire, but rebelled against her conventional background (which included being presented at Court as a debutante in 1934) and studied art in London. A meeting with Max Ernst, the celebrated Surrealist artist, led to a romantic relationship and creative partnership with him in the  late 1930s, disrupted by the Second World War when Ernst, a German national, was interned in France. Leonora Carrington suffered a breakdown at this time, which also figures in her paintings, but met Max Ernst again in the early 1940s in New York, where he had settled along with a number of other European artists supported by Peggy Guggenheim. In 1942 a Surrealist exhibition was organised at the Reid Mansion in Madison Avenue. The exhibition catalogue, designed by Marcel Duchamp, was called First Papers of Surrealism: today’s images are taken from the copy of this catalogue held in our Special Collections and Archives. Leonora Carrington exhibited one drawing, shown left, Brothers and Sisters have I None, and a painting, La Chasse.

Leonora Carrington moved to Mexico in 1943 where her dreamlike paintings full of symbols developed further, incorporating theFirst Papers in Surrealism Mexican landscape and culture. She also started to work in different media and some of her poetry, sculptures, tapestries and designs for theatre will be on display at Tate Liverpool alongside her vibrant canvases. We have several works about Leonora Carrington in the Art History section at the Aldham Robarts Library and the catalogue of the first Surrealist exhibition in New York can be consulted in the Special Collections and Archives Reading Room.

Further details and opening times of the Leonora Carrington exhibition are available on the Tate Liverpool website.

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