Sunday, May 29, 2011

Leonora Carrington: Viva la reina!

The grande dame of Surrealism, Leonora Carrington, died last week at age 94. One of modernism's greatest (if under appreciated) minds leaves us with a vibrant legacy of dream landscapes, obscured figures, hybrid animals, the eye of mythos.

Carrington was one of the pioneering women who broke into the new old boy's club of modernist art (why was the "anxiety of influence" primarily a revolt of sons against fathers?). Her life-story was dramatic, her friends and rivals included Kahlo, Ernst, Dali, Miro, Picasso. For more, click here and here .

Lobster & Canary think we see her subterranean influence on many writers (Angela Carter perhaps) and artists (Marina Abramovic, Rebecca Horn) since. What a study that would be! And most intriguing: Carrington's putative, if unrealized, impact on many popular musicians of the past few decades. Think Madonna, Patti LaBelle, Annie Lennox, Grace Jones ("Slave to the Rhythm" reads like a Carrington painting come to life), Bjork, Missy Elliott.

Right down to relative newcomers such as Rihanna ("Disturbia," "Party Like A Rockstar"), Janelle Monae, Lady Gaga, and the Katy Perry of her Kanye West collaboration on "E.T."

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