Wednesday, May 23, 2012


Leonora Carrington with José Horna, La cuna (The Cradle), 1949. Painted wood with mesh cloth, grommets and rope, 138 x 129 x 66 cm. Estimate: $1,500,000 - 2,500,000. Photo: Christie's Images Ltd 2012.

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Leonora Carrington with José Horna, La cuna (The Cradle), 1949. Painted wood with mesh cloth, grommets and rope, 138 x 129 x 66 cm. 

  "Likewise, due to the many forced dislocations of her youth, from various boarding schools, to the tragic events of World War II that led to various close and traumatic escapes, Carrington often included vehicles of transport in her artwork. In her masterwork from 1945 Les Distractions de Dagobert, for example, a woman lies in an ark with a sail eerily similar to La cuna, as she navigates through the unknown, much as Carrington did before her arrival in Mexico. Perhaps her good friend, the surrealist artist Remedios Varo, was influenced by Carrington's interest in boats as symbols of inner voyages when she painted Exploration of the Source of the Orinoco River (1959) and also in the uncanny life of furniture as in her painting Mimesis (1960). Like other pieces of surrealist furniture, La cuna is meant to transcend the merely functional, and instead transport both the viewer and the fortunate child into the fertile realm of dreams." 

 --Susan L. Aberth, Associate Professor of Art History, Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson.

NOTE:   The other day she said to me “I don’t want to dream any more.”  That surprised me for a moment and then it didn’t as I recalled our many conversations about her troubled dreams.  My own dream life is, like everyone else’s, occasionally tortured, and lately more so than ever, but I still want to be able to dream.  Yesterday I read about some young Brooklyn entrepreneurs who have invented a “lucid dreaming” sleep mask called "Remee" (link), which they claim allows you to control your dreams.  I mentioned this to her and she seemed interested in the possibilities.  That’s a product that doesn’t appeal to me at all and in fact scares me a little.  I’m trying to learn to be “in the moment” and the dream mask just seems like another reality partition to me, one which I definitely don’t need. Leonora Carrington passed away about a year ago in Mexico City and La cuna is being auctioned soon at Christie’s in New York.  It’s a lovely piece.

Chiki Weisz and Leonora Carrington on their wedding day at the home of José and Kati Horna, Tabasco Street 198, Colonia Roma, Mexico City, 1946.


  1. Lovely.

    How often I have my bed as a ship. And when I awoke I felt I had forgotten everything.

    "La cuna" and "lacuna".

  2. I always think of my bed as a ship. The Carrington, if you're in the market and so inclined, will only cost you about US $1.5M. I assume Leonora would be extremely surprised by this. It's remarkable seeing the 20th century -- even the post-war 20th century turning into preciously valued ancient history, replete with relics. Curtis