Leonora Carrington: What She Might Be

British-turned-Mexican surrealist painter Leonora Carrington turned 90 in April of 2007, and the Dallas Museum of Art’s new exhibition will celebrate the artist’s long and productive life, highlighting works from the late 1930s to the 1980s.

Leonora Carrington: What She Might Be at the Dallas Museum of Art will feature approximately 25 key works by one of the very few women artists associated with the surrealist movement. The exhibition will also chronicle the stages and key events in Carrington’s career, highlighting more than 50 years of painting, along with photographs documenting important moments those of her daily routine and the artist at work in her studio.

Carrington’s story begins in France, where the precocious 19-year-old debutante had run away with her lover, Max Ernst. There she was championed by André Breton for her own work of fantastical, dark, satirical writings and paintings based on fairy tales and the occult. Several of these, including Night Nursery Everything, The Artist Travelling Incognito and Nunscape at Manzanillo will be on view. Indeed, as the artist herself said in 1983, “I didn't have time to be anyone's muse, . . . I was too busy rebelling against my family and learning to be an artist.”

“Her extraordinary life and the breadth of her experience—from Celtic legends told in her youth to the surrealism of 1930s Paris—come together in each complex and powerful piece,” said Dr. Dorothy Kosinski, Senior Curator of Painting and Sculpture and The Barbara Thomas Lemmon Curator of European Art at the DMA. “Her vision is eccentric and wonderful.”

Carrington’s story proceeds to World War II and her escape from the Nazis to Spain, to her time in New York City with other surrealist refugees, and to Mexico City, where she was at the center of Mexican cultural life as part of another circle of surrealist European artists in exile. This period included close friendships with Spanish filmmaker Luis Buñuel, French poet and surrealist Benjamin Péret, Spanish-Mexican surrealist painter Remedios Varo, Mexican artist and designer Günther Gerzso, Nobel-prize–winning poet Octavio Paz, and a host of other Mexican modernists.

Finally, the exhibition notes the years of her marriage to Hungarian photographer Chiki Weisz, and her subsequent life with him and their children in Mexico, as she maintained her connections to Europe while exploring in her art indigenous Mexican culture and beliefs.

Guest-curator Dr. Salomon Grimberg, a noted art historian-curator widely published in the field of Latin American art, has known the artist for many years. Dr. Dorothy Kosinski will supervise the exhibition.

About the Dallas Museum of Art
The Dallas Museum of Art, established in 1903, has an encyclopedic collection of more than 23,000 works, spanning 5,000 years of history and representing all media, with renowned strengths in the arts of the ancient Americas, Africa, Indonesia and South Asia; European and American painting, sculpture and decorative arts; and American and international contemporary art.

The Dallas Museum of Art is the anchor of the Dallas Arts District and serves as the cultural magnet for the city with diverse programming ranging from exhibitions and lectures to concerts, literary readings, dramatic and dance presentations, and a full spectrum of programs designed to engage people of all ages with the power and excitement of art.

The Dallas Museum of Art is supported in part by the generosity of Museum members and donors and by the citizens of Dallas through the City of Dallas/Office of Cultural Affairs and the Texas Commission on the Arts.

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