Best known for her large-scale sculpture and installation art, Bourgeois was also a prolific painter and printmaker. She explored a variety of themes over the course of her long career including domesticity and the family, sexuality and the body, as well as death and the subconscious. Although Bourgeois exhibited with the Abstract Expressionists and her work has much in common with Surrealism and Feminist art, she was not formally affiliated with a particular artistic movement.
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“Louise Bourgeois was a significant artist of the last 50 years,” Schnitzer said. “She burst through a lot of glass ceilings.” – East Oregonian
Above: Picture of the sculpture “Stallion” on display at the Estacion Indianilla museum in Mexico City, on April 14, 2011 as part of the exhibition of Mexican sculptor Leonora Carrington. (Getty)
Leonora Carrington was a fantastic surrealist artist and weird fiction author. Here are ten facts you need to know.
- She Was a Founding Member of the Women’s Liberation Movement in Mexico
- Carrington was raised in a wealthy Roman Catholic family on a large estate called Crookhey Hall.
- She died May 25 2011 at the age of 94, and was one of the last surviving participants in the Surrealist movement of the 1930s.
- She remained active as a painter and sculptor throughout her life, and continued to inspire younger generations.
- Two weeks after her death an international group of Surrealists met in Athens to explore her proposal for “Surrealist survival kits”.
- She had fallen in love with the 46-year-old, married, surrealist painter Max Ernst. She intended to move to Paris with him and pursue a career as an artist. – The Guardian
- Leonora Carrington was a revolutionary before she ever encountered the Surrealists. Born into an upper class family in Lancashire, England, Leonora learned at a very early age the injustice of society. – Illinois.edu
- Finally after many rebellious acts and expulsions from school, she succeeded in convincing her parents to let her study art at the Amédée Ozenfant Academy in London.
- He (Ernst) left his wife for Carrington, his “Bride of the Wind”. The couple lived together until the outbreak of W.W.II when Ernst was taken prisoner as an enemy alien. Carrington’s work during this period moves from themes of childhood filled with magical birds and animals, to a mature art based on Celtic mythology and alchemical transformation. It is an art of sensibility rather than hallucination, one in which animal guides lead the way out of a world of men who don’t know magic, fear the night, and have no mental powers except intellect. – Illinois.edu
- “The source of Carringtion’s magical white horse lies not in Freud’s use of the horse as a symbol of male power but in the Celtic legends that nourished her childhood…the horse is sacred to the ancient tribe of the Tuatha de Danaan…the hyena belongs to the fertile world of night; the horse becomes an image of rebirth into the light of day and the world beyond the looking glass. As symbolic intermediaries between the unconscious and the natural world, they replace male Surrealists’ reliance on the image of woman as the mediating link between man and the “marvelous” and suggest the powerful role played by Nature as a source of creative power for the woman artist (Chadwick, p. 79).”
I’ve stumbled upon a wonder!
Sidney H. Sime (sometimes referred to as the Master of the Mysterious) was a gifted English painter, cartoonist and illustrator, often compared to Aubrey Beardsley and Arthur Rackham.
I’ve put together some images for this post, as well as a YouTube video at the end which showcases a Tarot deck featuring Sime’s work.
Many of Sidney H. Sime’s illustrations were for the beautifully odd stories of Lord Dunsany (Edward J.M.D. Plunkett, 1878-1957). You can read a collection of his shorts, The Last Book of Wonder (1916) for free over on archive.org. Titles include Why the Milkman Shudders when he Perceives the Dawn, The Bird of the Difficult Eye, The Long Porter’s Tale, The Loot of Loma, The Secret of the Sea, A Story of Land and Sea and The Exiles Club. archive.org also has Dunsany’s The Gods of Pegana, featuring Sime’s illustrations, Time and the Gods and The Sword of Welleran, and other stories, originally published by G. Allen & Sons, it’s 290 pages of wonder.
“The partnership of illustrator Sidney H. Sime and fantasy writer Lord Dunsany (also poet, dramatist, and grand chess master and pistol champion of Ireland) is without peer in the annals of fantasy illustration. It is almost inconceivable to imagine a Dunsany story – with its exquisite fusion of elements from Greek and Celtic myths (Dunsany was friendly with Yeats and the writers of the Celtic Twilight), Arabian Nights adventure, and the solemn harmonies of the Old Testament – without the drawings of Sidney H. Sime. Sime has been called the “greatest imaginative artist since William Blake,” and aside from their fin-de-siecle elegance, and delicacy of line recalling Persian miniatures, Sime’s drawings manifest that rare faculty of being able to give definitive, and often uncanny, form to the poet’s merest suggestions.” – from ArtRenewal.com
Sime’s work was largely unrecognised during his lifetime. There have however been recent exhibitions of his drawings and paintings and there is a Sidney Sime Gallery in Worplesdon, Surrey.