Symposium | Leonora Carrington




The Story of the Last Egg

READING: Thursday, June 6, 7:30 PM
SYMPOSIUM: Friday, June 7, 11 AM – 3:30 PM


A symposium on the life and influence of Leonora Carrington, featuring a dramatic reading of Carrington’s unpublished play, Opus Siniestrus: The Story of the Last Egg.

READING: Thursday, June 6, 7:30 PM 
SYMPOSIUM: Friday, June 7, 11 AM – 3:30 PM

926 Madison Avenue (at 74th Street)
New York 

Registration is required. Register here for READING and here for SYMPOSIUM.

In conjunction with the exhibition Leonora Carrington: The Story of the Last Egg (May 23 — June 29, 2019, 926 Madison Avenue, New York), Gallery Wendi Norris will present a symposium on Carrington’s work and her influence in a contemporary context. The symposium begins on June 6 at 7:30 pm with a dramatic reading of Carrington’s previously unpublished play Opus Siniestrus: The Story of the Last Egg.

Written in 1970, Opus Siniestrus: The Story of the Last Egg is a sort of magical tragi-comedy, conjuring a world in which all women have died except one, a “colossally fat old lady of 80, the ex-madam of a brothel,” who gains possession of the last surviving human egg, and holds the fate of the planet in her hands. The play will be directed by Jean Randich, and features eight actors playing multiple characters. Although Opus Siniestrus was written nearly 50 years ago, it is a visionary ecofeminist work that could have been written today, and echoes subjects and ideas in Carrington’s other writing and art works.

The symposium continues on Friday June 7 at 11 AM, with a presentation by Carlos Martin, Chief Curator at Fundación Mapfre, Madrid, who will present research in conjunction with a solo Carrington exhibition entitled Leonora Carrington: tu país that will open at Fundación Mapfre in 2020, and then travel to the Museo Picasso Málaga. The exhibition will explore Carrington’s peripatetic life and how it influenced her work (she lived in Great Britain, Italy, France, Spain, the US, and Mexico). According to Martin, “Organizing an exhibition of Carrington in Spain means more than paying debt to a creator who left an important trace in the works of artists of Spanish origin. From her experience in Madrid and in Santander arises her extraordinary memoir Down Below, a turning point in surrealist literature, as well as elements of her astonishing symbolic universe which she would develop in the following decades. The title, meaning “Leonora Carrington, your country” is a reference to her extraordinary painting 'Chiki, ton pays' and serves to epitomize our approach to Carrington as a transnational, extraterritorial artist.”

The afternoon begins with two of the world’s experts on Carrington, Susan Aberth, Associate Professor in the Art History and Visual Culture Program at Bard College, and Teresa Arcq, independent curator and scholar presenting Magical Reflections: The Creative Collaborations of Leonora Carrington and Remedios Varo. Varo and Carrington, after fleeing violence in Europe at the start of World War II, shared a crumbling mansion in Mexico City and painted alongside the Surrealists working there in the 1940s. Aberth and Arcq are currently co-authoring a book on Carrington and Varo, and their discussion will touch on feminism, collaboration, magic, Mexico and other themes Carrington explored during her long career.

The final session, entitled, The Leonora Carrington Effect: What we can learn from Carrington Today,features a discussion on Carrington’s work and its influence in a contemporary context, led by Natasha Boas, a French-American independent curator, scholar and critic based in San Francisco and Paris. Trained at Yale University, Boas is a specialist in Surrealism and modernist aesthetics and is currently working as a curator to a private collection which focuses on Surrealist women artists and contemporary artists who were influenced by them.

This is the third and most ambitious exhibition of Carrington’s work mounted by Gallery Wendi Norris. It features more than 20 paintings as well as the six masks she made for Opus Siniestrus.

Image © 2019 Estate of Leonora Carrington / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York