Saturday 28 May 2011

Last of the great surrealists

Tony Shiels introduced me to the art and writing of Leonora Carrington a couple of years ago. I had to admit not having heard of her before, mainly due to the fact that I am not really a lover of surrealism. However, I had heard of Max Ernst – mainly due to Loplop, his alter-ego on canvas in the shape of a bird. The CFZ has a model of this creation, which has featured in more than one Weird Weekend and – at present – keeps guard over Bigfoot and the giant snapping turtle, Quasimodo, up in the CFZ Museum.

On Tony’s suggestion I read one of Leonora’s novels last year , and I used to read it aloud at night so both Jon and I could enjoy it at the same time. The Hearing Trumpet is a very strange novel, but one that you cannot put down once starting. The heroine is a 92 year old woman who is given a hearing trumpet by her well-meaning friend. This then means that she can hear everything that her family is saying and finds out that she is to be taken to an institution. The adventures that follow are weird, funny and poignant and Leonora’s writing had both me and Jon laughing out loud at times, so much so that on occasion I would have to re-read a paragraph over and over before being able to finish it with a straight face.

Leonora died in Mexico City on 25th May of complications following pneumonia at the grand age of 94, and is survived by her two sons, Gabriel and Pablo.


Anonymous said...

Have a look at the art of Carrington's Spanish gal pal Remedios Varo — it's amazing.

Corinna said...

Heya. I have had a look and agree that some of her work is stunning. Thanks for pointing me in her direction.