Artsy: Leonora Carrington Brought a Wild, Feminist Intensity to Surrealist Painting
To look at a Leonora Carrington painting, or to read her prose, is to catch the rituals of the witching hour, when the rules of reality are upturned: Bodies transform into birds or beasts; ghostly figures float mid-air. As viewers, we are more than just witnesses to this magic—we become complicit in it. We are offered a seat at the ceremonial table—alongside dogs, children, a minotaur, and a fantastical, almost aquatic-looking creature—in the 1953 work And Then We Saw the Daughter of the Minotaur! (The painting will be on view in “The Story of the Last Egg,” a show by Gallery Wendi Norris in New York later this month.) Mysterious glass orbs pull at the tablecloth as though guided by a force of their own. At the right of the painting, something not-quite-human dances toward us. No wonder Edward James, Carrington’s friend and patron, once described her work as “brewed” rather than painted.
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