Carrington, an artist and writer, included an inscription in the bottom-left quadrant of this drawing that elucidates the detailed, macabre contraption depicted in the composition: “The arm of the timepiece when striking the hour raises the head revealing a nest of fresh eggs which hatch as time goes by.” With a menacing crow and a severed head suspended from a lever, the work features the fantastical and mechanical elements that characterize Carrington’s art.
Carrington executed this work the year she arrived in Mexico City, where she joined an expatriate community of artists and writers that also included the Mexican painter and theater designer Gunther Gerzso. With an ambiguous reference to their community’s gatherings, she dedicated the drawing to him: “To Gerzso, having assisted at our spider webs—Friendship & affection, Leonora.” The piece’s title—*Kitchen Clock*—reflects Carrington’s fascination at the time with the alchemy of the kitchen, which she treated as a kind of laboratory where domestic duties blended with transformative processes. Though intimate in scale and personal in nature, this drawing bears witness to a Surrealist movement expanding beyond both its origins in Paris and its initial circle of largely male practitioners.
Publication excerpt from MoMA Highlights: 375 Works from The Museum of Modern Art, New York (New York: The Museum of Modern Art, 2019)