British surrealist Leonora Carrington was a key part of the surrealist movement during its heyday in Paris and yet, until recently, remained a virtual unknown in the country of her birth. “The Lost Surrealist” (2016) explores her dramatic evolution from British debutante to artist in exile, living out her days in Mexico City, and takes us on a journey into her darkly strange and cinematic world.
The extraordinary life of the British-Mexican artist Leonora Carrington is chronicled in this truly mesmerizing film, directed by Teresa Griffiths. In Co-Production with Erica Starling and Ronachan Productions with BBC, SVT and AVROTROS with the support of Northen Irland Screen, 2017. And premiered at the Sheffield DocFest 2017.
Interspersing with experimental animation and tableaux, “The Lost Surrealist”celebrates a woman whose artistic contribution has been historically overlooked. Leonora Carrington lived and worked alongside Max Ernst, Andre Breton and Pablo Picasso in Paris at the height of the surrealist movement – yet ended up virtually unknown in Mexico City.
“I didn’t have time to be anyone’s muse… I was too busy rebelling against my family and learning to be an artist.” Leonora Carrington
This film explores her dazzling and remarkable life through her strange and haunting work, which recently has begun selling for millions of dollars. Leonora was born into British aristocracy – she was a debutante presented at court to the King but ran from this privilege to become an artist and lover of Max Ernst in the 1930s surrealist explosion in Paris, where she mixed as an equal with Breton and Picasso.
After Ernst was interned by the Nazis she had a breakdown and was incarcerated in a Spanish psychiatric asylum before escaping and settling finally in Mexico where she was hailed as a visionary artist, writer and sculptor. Leonora’s work is cinematic.
Her work depicts strange and often dark worlds into which the viewer is drawn – they might be the paintings of ones own dreams. Interspersed with experimental animation and tableux, the film celebrates a woman whose artistic contribution has been historically overlooked.
Watch the extraordinary film The Lost Surrealist, in full below: