Friday, December 25, 2009

Ballast Reviews | Leonora Carrington

Leonora Carrington: Surrealism, Alchemy and Art by Susan L. Aberth. Burlington VT: Lund Humphries, 2004. 160 pp., with 115 illus., color and b&w. Clothbound. ISBN 0-85331-908-1.

Reproduced in this book is a famous photograph, taken in New York in 1942, of a group of mostly European artists, in "exile" in the US. They are arranged in three rows, in a quietly comical manner: Everyone in the back row faces left, those in the center face right (with one exception), and those in the front row face whatever direction they like. Of the fourteen artists in the photograph, eleven are men, but, as if to anticipate recent concerns about gender inequality, each row contains one woman, including Peggy Guggenheim (of Guggenheim Museum fame), Berenice Abbott (the famous photographer), and a largely obscure painter named Leonora Carrington. More