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Leonora Carrington: Surrealism, Alchemy and Art Paperback – March 28, 2010
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About the Author
- Item Weight : 1.94 pounds
- Paperback : 160 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1848220561
- ISBN-13 : 978-1848220560
- Product Dimensions : 9.8 x 0.6 x 11.42 inches
- Publisher : Lund Humphries; New edition (March 28, 2010)
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: #63,841 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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I want to praise Susan Aberth and her publisher as well as Carrington, however: this book is everything I think an art book should be—and that too few of them are. The photographs of the art are clear, numerous, mostly full page, and all in vivid color (except for a few photographs of people that were not in color to begin with). Aberth’s text is also illuminating, describing Carrington’s life, bringing out her major themes (such as her blending of myths and symbols from disparate cultures, particularly Celtic [her family background] and Mexican [her adopted background], and her feminist view of alchemy as a form of cooking), and analyzing several paintings in detail. Her analysis almost always refers to features that can actually be seen in the reproductions—which is by no means always the case in art books, I’ve found. Her language is clear and easy to understand, not drowning in academic art-critic-ese. I have admired Carrington’s work for a long time, and I definitely felt that I understood it, and her, better after reading Aberth’s commentary.
This collection is curated to explicitly feature Leonora Carrington's longtime Great Work with alchemical, goddess, occult and magical themes. If you want the sigils, magical diagrams and veves, they are all in this set. The technique is haunting, delicate details as on the walls of an ancient Roman mansion, and some of these pieces (sculptures and weavings) I've honestly never seen in other catalogs. After all those years and the sights /senses of Mexico, the art just gets weirder and more wonderful over time. Also there are so many later pieces I'd never seen, featuring the culinary imagery and the wonderful old crones - like walking, wrinkled potatoes - that begin to appear in her consistent, evolving visual language as the Magician inserts herself into the work as she ages.
These are the color plates you have been looking for. Though it's not a huge coffee table book, it is truly inspiring.
Top reviews from other countries
She left her native England and spent some time in mainland Europe before finally settling in Mexico. Her works and career are far better known in North America, Japan, and other places than they are in her homeland. While other more household names like Dali and Picasso were socialising and deliberately seeking publicity, she was quietly working away at her easel. Leonora Carrington's ability to combine her painterly skill with a talent for visualising strange and exotic scenes take us into a world that lies beyond the conscious mind, in an effective and rewarding way, which Susan L. Aberth's book helpfully and sympathetically explores. There are lots of images, accompanied by some well-written narrative which details her background, life experiences, outlook, processes, and impact.
Published as a paperback in 2010, including notes and index the book runs to around 150 pages. At just slightly wider than A4 size, this makes it a comfortable book to be able to hold without becoming tiring too quickly. Many of the images are full-page, but several are not - but everything is large enough to be able to enjoy a good close-up study. Recommended.