H is for The House Opposite

Although best known for his patronage of the work of René Magritte and Salvador Dali, Edward James was also a close friend and patron to surrealist artists Leonor Fini and Leonora Carrington.

The House Opposite (1945) by Carrington is one of the works James purchased from Leonora for the sum of $450. He chose the frame for this iconic work, framing it in Italian Renaissance moulding which he thought looked like ivory next to tortoiseshell. Carrington lived most of her adult life in Mexico City, and was one of the last surviving participants in the surrealist movement of the 1930s until her death in 2011.

Joanna Moorhead, an award-winning freelance journalist, was cousin to Leonora Carrington and says,

"The women of the surrealist movement were often written off as silent and subservient. In fact, a group of them were creating extraordinary work - and lives - in Mexico".

Listen to Joanna talk about 'discovering Leonora Carrington' at Tate.

Las Pozas

It was in Mexico that Edward James created Las Pozas, 17 acres of semi-tropical jungle-clad garden near Xilita in the Sierra Madre mountains.