Leonor Fini

Leila Heller Gallery, New York (S27)

Leila Heller Gallery presents works by dynamic and sensual Argentinian artist, Leonor Fini. With the success of her retrospective at the Museum of Sex, titled Theatre of Desire, 1930-1990, the booth serves the renewed interest in Fini’s provocative Surrealist work. 

Though her works’ flirtatious humor is commonly found across the genre of Surrealism, her paintings often hold a darker subtext as well. Working during a time when women had less freedoms than they do today, Fini translates the dialogue surrounding imbalanced gender dynamics into the vocabulary of art. In doing so, her commentary explores this larger issue through the lens of eroticism, investigating notions of dominance, submission, and compliance. Fini’s past paints a picture of a bonafide revolutionary: a self-taught artist with an obsessive interest in the macabre, the suggestive, and the taboo. With an innate ability to deconstruct and repurpose all that she saw firsthand, Fini made a range of stylistic appropriations, from the rich palette of the Pre-Raphaelites to the flatness of Flemish art. 

Leonor Fini (b. 1907, Buenos Aires; d. 1996, Paris) was one of the few female Surrealist painters exhibiting alongside Salvador Dalí and Max Ernst. Fini was a woman ahead of her time, who challenged conventions in a male-dominated field.