Women at work

“I WARN YOU, I REFUSE TO BE AN OBJECT.” Those words greet visitors to the Leonora Carrington Foundation website. Rebellious and strident, Carrington forged a remarkable artistic career in Europe, the UK, and the U.S. Keen on the work of the Surrealists, she was 20 when she met German artist Max Ernst at a party in 1937. The arc of the relationship is cinematic: his broken marriage; their artistic collaboration and cohabitation in Paris; his arrest by the Gestapo for making “degenerate” art; his escape via marriage to collector Peggy Guggenheim; her nervous breakdown and creative rebirth. In time, she made her way to Mexico City, where she championed women’s rights. Her work incorporated magical realism and drew from autobiographical detail, subverting male surrealists’ characterization of female sexuality. In her words: “I didn’t have time to be anyone’s muse.”—Diane Richard, writer, March 2

Image: Leonora Carrington Foundation.

“Women at Work” celebrates Women’s History Month by highlighting female artists in Mia’s collection.