Surreal Friends in the wake of the Spanish Civil War

June 12, 2010

Kati Harna, Madrid, Spanish Civil War

Opening next week at the Pallant House Gallery: “Surreal Friends: Leonora Carrington, Remedios Varo and Kati Horna”–three women whose lives and work were deeply marked by the Spanish Civil War:

When Mexico opened its borders to refugees from Europe in the late 1930s, it attracted a host of artists fleeing World War II and the Spanish Civil War, among them three women surrealists who settled there, their professional and personal lives becoming closely intertwined. Leonora Carrington (b1917), who had escaped her stifling upper-middle-class British upbringing by moving to Paris, was separated from her lover, Max Ernst ,when he was interned in a Vichy concentration camp. She fled to Mexico City in 1943 after marrying the Mexican poet and diplomat Renato Leduc. There she joined painter Remedios Varo (1908-63), a republican in the Spanish Civil War and the lover of the left-wing poet Benjamin Péret, and the Jewish photographer Katin Horna (1912-2000), a friend of Robert Capa, also active in the war in Spain. The three artists, still only in their late 20s and early 30s when they arrived in Mexico, had already had the experiences of a lifetime, having faced the brutality of war, and known and met some of the leading figures of 20th-century art, including Picasso, Mondrian, Man Ray and Ernst.  In exile, the three women became very close, raising families and becoming independent artists rather than muses.

More here.


One Response to “ Surreal Friends in the wake of the Spanish Civil War ”

  1. Sue May on July 3, 2010 at 12:12 pm

    Check out “Artistas: the Maiden, Mother, and Crone,” which features Carrington!
    The feature documentary, “Artistas: The Maiden, Mother, and Crone” will document and unveil the lives and works of one new-on-the-scene and four prominent female artists at different stages of their careers and lives. The criterion for the subject/artist selection is that each artist is a “working artist” and creating “Fine Art,” which is defined as “Art created for purely aesthetic expression, communication, or contemplation.” The film will be metaphorically and stylistically based on the concept of the Triple Goddess, the ancient triad of birth/youth (“Maiden”), life/fertility (“Mother”), and death/wisdom (“Crone”). For the purpose of the film, the filmmaker will use the Triple Goddess concept as an intergenerational stepping-stone for the creative, functional, and discovery processes, thus connecting the artists’ stories and the fine art world while focusing on the following themes: Gender, Age, Ethnicity, and Economics.