You are twenty – a young attractive debutante from a wealthy English family with a pre-ordained and comfortable life ahead of you. Your father informs you in complete seriousness that if you pursue your desire to become an artist that he will disinherit you immediately and you will never see him or your family ever again. So you leave for Paris and true to his word you never do see your father again. Such was the decisive decision Leonora Carrington took in 1937. Already seduced by Surrealism, in Paris she immersed herself in its artistic milieu. Leonora had previously met and fallen madly in love with the then married high priest of Surrealism Max Ernst. She became his young muse.
But Leonora Carrington was never destined to be a mere appendage to a great artist in the manner in which so many other women were to the protagonists of Modernism. Instead she became a significant artist in the world of Surrealism in her own right.
To see why you have an extra week, if you have not already done so, to enter the unique world of Leonora Carrington at the Irish Museum of Modern Art until 26th January.
That extra week also gives you the chance to visit IMMA and appreciate simply the most important Irish designer of the twentieth century, Eileen Gray. This major retrospective finally affords her the exposure and recognition that she has long held in design circles but now brings to a much wider public audience.