The Nunscape at Manzanillo by Leonora Carrington
Stylistic traits and subject matter of artist
Leonora Carrington’s artwork shared the interest of the Surrealists as they appeared in the unconscious mind. Most of Carrington’s art exhibit features that are half-animal and half-human, or at times, her art reflected a combination of animals or beasts that seemed humorous and fearsome (Aberth 7). In the work, ‘The Nunscape at Manzanillo’, there are animal-like and human-like features. In this art, some women are out fishing while under the watch of a feature that resembles an owl. Regarding the subject matter, most of Carrington’s work touch on sexual identity and is strongly against the stereotypic ideas that women have no place in the society and are objects of male desire. Carrington focuses on representing the self-perceptions of women and the bonds between them.
The methods and media used by the artist
Carrington leveraged on the painting method to deliver or produce her artworks and used various media. For instance, ‘The Giantess’ used tempera on wood panel whereas others, such as ‘Green Tea’ used oil on canvas. Carrington used media, such as tempera on Masonite, oil on panel, and tapestry.
The patronage and the social influences for selected artist
Carrington’s mother supported her interest in art, and this prompted her admission to the Chelsea School of Art. While in London, Carrington was associated with the Surrealist movement, which influenced and introduced her to various artworks done by artists, such as Joan Miro, Max Ernst, and Salvador Dali. Carrington’s close association with surrealists led to her invitation to an exhibition of Surrealism, which took place in New York at the Pierre Matisse Gallery. Carrington’s artwork was featured in various exhibitions, such as that at the Museum of Modern Art as well as at the Peggy Guggenheim’s Art of this Century, which took place in New York.
The art education, apprenticeships, or art historical influences
Carrington’s art education is associated with the Chelsea School of Art. Carrington was apprenticed by artists, such as Max Ernst, who later became her husband. Carrington also learned artistic ideas from the Surrealist women, such as Remedios Varo and Dorothea Tanning (Fort et al. 13).
The artistic innovations or contributions
Carrington’s significant contribution was the development of an intensely personal Surrealist sensibility, which was a combination of the occult and autobiographical symbolism. Carrington’s contribution towards the internalization of Surrealism in the years succeeding the first Word War cannot be ignored, and she campaigned for the Surrealist theory through her paintings, writings, and personal letters (Poniatowska and Amanda 8).
Summary of the artist’s selection for the study
The selection of Leonora Carrington for this study was based on the fact that she is one of the most prominent artists of Surrealism. Carrington’s artwork ‘The Nunscape at Manzanillo’ is clearly against the stereotyping of women as it exhibits women involved in fishing. The piece, as well as the material used, is attractive, and this makes her artwork outstanding. My opinions regarding Carrington’s artwork did not change upon doing research on the piece as it also stresses or emphasizes the subject matter on sexual identity.
Analysis of elements and principles
Regarding elements, it is notable that there is the use of lines in the piece as evidenced in objects such as the water vessel, the object at the bottom left on which the bird seems to stand. A viewer of the piece would be in a position to determine movement as evidenced by a person moving at the bottom left part of the piece. The detection of movement implies that the use of compositional lines is evident in the piece. The boundaries of the objects in the piece are clearly defined, and thus, shape has been efficiently highlighted in the piece. For example, one woman can be clearly distinguished from another, and the surface of the land can be clearly distinguished from that of water. The use of form in the artwork cannot be doubted, as a viewer can clearly distinguish the space occupied by both the water and land. It is clear that water occupies a bigger space than land. In a real context, the piece is rough when it comes to texture, and this is because of the paint used. The use of color is also evident in the exhibition of a brown and white color in the background. The water vessel being used by the women has shades of brown and white. The dark and white colors in the piece are lighter or brighter. Furthermore, the element of motion can be seen in the flight of the birds and the water vessel. Also, the piece illustrates various principles of art. There is an exhibition of brown and white colors in the piece and this is an indication of contrast. Besides, the piece is unified such that the whole of it and not only one part seems necessary. Put simply, the removal of a part of the piece would interfere with the whole of it. The fact that shape, color, lines, texture, and form are used in the piece indicates variety, which is a key principle of art. The existence of variety in the piece makes it more acceptable as compared to other pieces. Pattern is also evident in the piece as feminine figures are repeated in the piece, and this plays an integral role in driving the subject matter of the piece which is sexual identity. The focal point in the piece is the women carrying out the fishing activity, and this to some extent has aided in driving home the artwork’s message.
Aberth, Susan L. Leonora Carrington: Surrealism, Alchemy and Art. Farnham: Ashgate/Lund Humphries, 2010. Print.
Fort, Ilene S, Teresa Arcq, and Dawn Ades. In Wonderland: The Surrealist Adventures of Women Artists in Mexico and the United States. New York: Prestel Pub, 2012. Print.
Poniatowska, Elena, and Amanda Hopkinson. Leonora. London: Profile Books, 2015. Internet resource.