Leonora Carrington - 20th Century & Contemporary Art Day Sale, Morning Session New York Wednesday, November 16, 2022 | Phillips

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  • The subjects in Leonora Carrington’s tapestries are the same as those found in her paintings. Instead of these figures being placed in a setting with other metamorphic creatures, they seem to be removed, and placed against a solid color background like a cut-out. Untitled (Griffin) presumably references a Greek mythological female minotaur, a semi-human and semi-animal figure inspired by the Dionysian thiasus, the court of the God Dyonisus, a theme which fascinated Carrington throughout her career. Carrington made very few tapestries in her career while living in Mexico in collaboration with the Rosales family.i
    "They were a family of serape weavers from Chiconcuac, an Aztec village (‘seven serpents’ in Aztec): they lived here in my house for about ten years. We had a beautiful loom and we weaved tapestries. I drew large drawings that were later transferred onto the fabric. They were very good people; our association finished with the death of Ricardo, the head of the family."
    —Leonora Carrington

    i Giulia Ingarao in Leonora Carrington, exh. cat., Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin, 2013, pp. 91-92.  

    • Provenance

      Juan Martín Gallery, Mexico City
      Elba Szclar, Mexico City (acquired from the above in 1975)
      Acquired from the above by the present owner in 2012

    • Exhibited

      Dublin, Irish Museum of Modern Art; Malaga, Museo Picasso, Leonora Carrington: The Celtic Surrealist, September 17, 2013–June 8, 2014, p. 92 (illustrated)
      Hermosillo, Sonora, Instituto Municipal de Cultura y Arte, May 27–June 1, 2008
      Xalapa-Enríquez, Veracruz, August 8–November 7, 2008

    • Artist Biography

      Leonora Carrington

      British / Mexican • 1917 - 2011

      At the core of Leonora Carrington's Surrealist oeuvre is a preoccupation with gender and feminist issues. Born to a wealthy family in Lancashire, England, Carrington demonstrated an interest in art at a young age and enrolled at Chelsea School of Art in London. Carrington first became interested in Surrealism after having attended the 1939 International Surrealist Exhibition, and later entered into a relationship with German Surrealist painter Max Ernst.

      Like many European intellectuals and artists, Carrington fled war-torn Europe and settled in Mexico where she was greatly influenced by the cultural and religious syncretism. Carrington's unique Surrealist aesthetic is one that often features females as the central figure and includes fairytale-like imagery.

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Untitled (Griffin)

woven with the weaver's mark upper left
wool tapestry
47 1/2 x 70 1/8 in. (120.7 x 178.1 cm)
Executed circa 1950.

We wish to thank Dr. Salomon Grimberg for his kind assistance in the cataloguing of this work.

Full Cataloguing

$50,000 - 70,000 

Sold for $176,400

Contact Specialist

Annie Dolan
Specialist, Head of Day Sale, Morning Session
+1 212 940 1288

20th Century & Contemporary Art Day Sale, Morning Session

New York Auction 16 November 2022