Katie, Anthony and I arrived at the Museo de Arte Popular for the Leonora Carrington exhibit and realized it was free admission Sunday! Which is a great thing and an, “Oh man there are SO many people here,” thing. There were so many people! I think it is awesome Mexico City has free admission to residents every Sunday. We have our free days in Denver and they are spread out, so they get to be such a circus I never want to go.
I had studied Leonora Carrington in my Latin American Modernism class. I wasn’t really in love with the ONE painting of hers we went into detail on, (I am however, very fond of her friend, Remedios Varo) but I loved her life story. She was rebellious as a young child and was expelled from two convent schools for bad behavior! I believe I heard a story about her mooning a nun. Originally from Lancashire, England, Carrington became associated with artists of the Surrealist movement when she went to the Chelsea School of Art in London. Carrington had a romantic relationship with German artist Max Ernst and when he fled to the United Stated during World War II, she suffered a psychotic breakdown and was hospitalized in Madrid. Surrealist Andre Breton encouraged Carrington to write about her experience with mental illness, thus producing her first novel titled, Down Below (1945).
1942 found Carrington settling in Mexico, where she would stay until her death at age 94. Carrington has been identified as one of the few women of the Surrealist movement and a feminist as well. The characters in her paintings are proud, powerful women. After seeing this exhibit, I’m a total Carrington convert. The exhibit was quite prolific, including paintings, tapestries and masks. I took about a million photos.
Then! On the 2nd floor of the museum, there was another exhibit that held paintings by David Alfaro Siqueiros, Frida Kahlo, Jose Clemente Orozco, Diego Rivera, Dr. Atl and more! I got to see Siquieros’ Peasant Mother (1924) in real life! It’s much larger than I had ever pictured, being about as tall as me. It was so exciting. I can’t remember what this exhibition was called but it was super. The best part was, I had no idea the exhibit was there so it was all a big, ol’ surprise.
We ended up in the gift shop where I bought a few books by/about Carrington and then we sort of speed walked to the café, as it was raining. We had espressos and Anthony and I each got a pizza. I had a three-cheese pizza with some sort of black cheese – so delicious! It came with a side of potato chips, which I found strange, but it also had a few spicy sauces which I liked. The pizza was only 60 pesos, or about $3.50 US.
From the museum, we ubered our way back to Sandra’s house where Marie gave us a painting demo. She brought our clay projects back ‘green’ and fired them at her studio here in Denver. We are on our own to finish them and thanks to her demo, we will do great! After the demo, we headed back to La Casita to get changed for fancy dinner, hosted by Katie at Los Danzantes (The Dancers), in the Coyoacan square.
We had fancy cocktails that came with fresh flowers in them, of course we had to take many cocktail pictures. We shared a few appetizers, including the Mogo Mogo which was mashed plantain croquettes with chile mixe and toasted crickets. We had been hoping for an insect appetizer platter, but this was the closest we got. You couldn’t tell you were eating crickets, which was probably a good thing. I had a corn smut salad with tomatillos and honey/lavender dressing and chicken rolled with cheese and onion and garnished with a side of smushed sweet potato. The entire meal was delicious and the art on the stair way and into the bathroom was reason enough to go, not to mention the carving on the bar. On the way home we stopped at the churro corner store ($1) and a few of us had sad, disappointing churros. It was especially disappointing because we had them a few days earlier and they were so good – hot, soft and sweet!
This was officially the last day of the group trip, as we all parted ways on Monday morning. Roxy and I stayed two more nights at La Casita.