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Carrington, Leonora  

Jorge Alberto Manrique

(b Clayten Green, nr Chorley, Lancashire, April 6, 1917; d Mexico City, May 25, 2011).

Mexican painter, sculptor and writer of English birth. In 1936 she travelled to London, where she studied under Amédée Ozenfant and in 1937 met Max(imilian) Ernst, with whom she became involved artistically and romantically, leading to her association with Surrealism. They moved to Paris together in 1937. At the outbreak of World War II, Ernst was interned as an enemy alien, and Carrington escaped to Spain, where she was admitted to a private clinic after having a nervous breakdown; she later recounted the experience in her book En bas (1943). After marrying the Mexican poet Renato Leduc in 1941 (a marriage of convenience), she spent time in New York before settling in Mexico in 1942, devoting herself to painting. There she and Remedios Varo developed an illusionistic Surrealism combining autobiographical and occult symbolism. Having divorced Leduc in 1942, in 1946 she married the Hungarian photographer Imre Weisz.

Carrington remained committed to Surrealism throughout her career, filling her pictures with strange or fantastic creatures in surprising situations, notably horses, which appear in ...


Lazo, Agustín  

Margarita González Arredondo

(b Mexico City, Aug 26, 1896; d Mexico City, Jan 28, 1971).

Mexican painter, stage designer, illustrator, and writer. He studied in Mexico City at the Escuela al Aire Libre de Coyoacán and at the Escuela Nacional de Artes Plásticas, before living in Paris from 1922 to 1930, where he trained as a stage designer from 1928 to 1930 in the studio of Charles Dullin. In Paris he attended the Académie de la Grande Chaumière and became aware of Surrealism; he was one of the first artists to introduce the style to Mexico. In his characteristic small-scale oil paintings, such as Children with Cage (Mexico City, Mus. N. A.), in which two girls are silhouetted in front of a curtain, he combined neo-Impressionist brushwork and a highly theatrical handling of light with absurd elements. He abandoned his career as a painter at an early age, concentrating in the 1930s and 1940s on designing for the stage as well as making his name as a critic and playwright....


Paalen, Wolfgang  

Andreas Neufert

(b Vienna, 1905; d Taxco/Mexico, 1959).

Austrian painter, writer, and theorist active in Mexico. After a short commitment to the Abstraction-Création group, he joined the French Surrealists in 1935. He was soon noted for his fumage paintings, by which he drew on the canvas with the random and evanescent patterns of smoke from candles (e.g. Pays interdit, oil and smoke on canvas, 1936–1937; Berlin, priv. col.; see Neufert 2015, pl. I). With this invention he had unexpectedly succeeded in fusing Surrealist and Cubist image-making. With his fumages and portentous analogical objects (e.g. Nuage articulé, an umbrella covered with natural sponges, 1937; Stockholm, Mod. Mus.) he was one of the main artists responsible for the design of the Exposition Internationale du Surréalisme that opened in January 1938 in Georges Wildenstein’s Galerie Beaux-Arts in Paris. Following Breton’s idea to transform the exhibition’s space into an artwork of its own, Paalen installed a real pond in the main hall, titled ...


Rahon, Alice  

Andrea García Rodríguez

[Philippot, Alice Marie Yvonne]

(b Chenecey-Buillon, Quingey, Jun 8, 1904; d Mexico City, Oct 3, 1987).

Mexican painter and poet of French birth. In the early stage of her career, she dedicated herself to writing poetry, encouraged by André Breton and the Surrealist group. She published three books of poems, which encompass her considerations on time, the mystical forces of nature, and the universe. Some years later, when she moved to Mexico, she began painting, motivated by the new scenery. Her paintings portray natural landscapes, popular festivities, imaginary cities, and zoomorphic characters.

She grew up in Paris and in 1931 she met the Austrian artist Wolfgang Paalen, who would become her husband three years later. Together, they traveled to Spain to visit the caves of Altamira, a place that caused a huge impact on them and was continually evocated in her work, as in Tempète de sable (1948) and Happy Hunting Grounds (1946). Once settled in Paris, in 1935, Rahon and Paalen met Paul Eluard. From then on, they started frequenting the Surrealist group, where Paalen showed his Surrealist objects and Rahon read her free verse poems. Her first book entitled ...