Eileen Agar  (British, 1904-1991) 


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Eileen Agar, Spanish Shoes


Eileen Agar
Spanish Shoes
The Court Gallery
Eileen Agar, The Demon of Destruction


Eileen Agar
The Demon of Destruction

Jenna Burlingham Fine Art
Eileen Agar, Vase with Flowers


Eileen Agar
Vase with Flowers

Brook Art Gallery
Past auction results (287)  View All
Eileen Agar, Torse de femme


Eileen Agar
Torse de femme, 1984
felt-tip pen and pencil


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Eileen Agar, Caliban


Eileen Agar
Caliban, 1945
oil and collage on canvas


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Eileen Agar, Sans titre


Eileen Agar
Sans titre, 1979
pastel, felt-tip pen and collage on paper


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1899   Born 1st December in Buenos Aires.
1919   The Agar family moved to Balfour Place, London
1920 - 1921   Horace Kesteven, the music master at Tudor Hall, toook Agar to studio of Charles Sims RA. Summer at Cap d’Antibes. Taught watercolour by William Thornley, who also took her to see the murals by Puvis de Chavannes at the Pantheon and to Rodin’s studio at Meudon. Trip to Argentina for her 21st Birthday celebrations. Attended Leon Underwood’s Brook Green School
1921 - 1924   Attended the Slade part-time.Taught by Professor Henry Tonks. Left home for a flat in Royal Hospital Road, Chelsea and studio in Royal Avenue. Visited Paris, Madrid, Toledo and Seville with Robin Bartlett, fellow student at the Slade.
1925   Destroyed most of her work. November: married Robin Bartlett; they moved to flat in Fernshaw Road, Chelsea; December father died, leaving Agar £1000 per annum. Periods in cottage at Varengeville near Dieppe acquired by Bartlett
1926   Spring met Joseph Bard, began relationship which lasted fifty years. Separation from Bartlett
1927 - 1928   Agar and Joseph Bard took a flat in Fitzroy Square. Winter spent in Portofino. Met Ezra Pound. Agar stayed behind in Rapallo to paint, Bard returned to London. Photographed by Cecil Beaton. Spring: returned to London. Summer holiday: Birling Gap, near Eastbourne; Autumn: moved to Paris, took a flat in Rue Schoelcher
1929   Summer spent at Cap Martin. Visited by Evelyn Waugh
1928 - 1930   Studied painting with Czech Cubist painter, Frantisek Fòlt´yn; visited Brancusi’s studio; met Louis Marcoussis, André Breton and Paul Eluard
1930   Summer: Agar and Bard to Sark to stay with her sister, Winifred and her husband Hugh Mackintosh. Autumn: move to number 47 Bramham Gardens, London. Rodney Thomas designed interiors of studio and flat
1931   Publication of The Island, edited by Joseph Bard in collaboration with Leon Underwood. Agar contributed to all four numbers.
1933   First solo show at Bloomsbury Gallery – a seven-year retrospective. Joined the London Group, at suggestion of Henry Moore, and exhibited with them
1934   Summer at Wittersham, Kent. Visits from A R Orage and Henry and Irina Moore. Exhibited with the London Group. Made first collages
1935   Summer: Bard and Agar took house at Swanage - met Paul Nash through Ashley Havinden. Nash introduced Agar to the idea of the ‘found object’. She found a ‘seashore monster’.
1936   Penrose and Read as British selectors for the International Surrealist Exhibition, London, visited Agar’s studio and chose 3 oils and 5 objects. Agar’s work appeared in the exhibition held at the New Burlington Galleries, London, alongside work by Picasso, Miró, Ernst etc. July: Agar and Bard travelled to Ploumanach, Brittany. Agar acquired Rolleiflex camera and photographed the stones. Request from the Museum of Modern Art, New York, for loan of Quadriga for Fantastic Art, Dada & Surrrealism exhibition
1937   Summer: Eluard visited Agar and Bard in London. July: Agar and Bard stayed at Lambe Creek, Cornwall with Roland Penrose, Lee Miller, Paul and Nusch Eluard. Agar started affair with Eluard. September: travelled with them to Hôtel Vaste Horizon, Mougins to join Picasso and Man Ray. November: Surrealist Objects & Poems exhibition at the London Gallery. Agar exhibited Angel of Anarchy (first version). Also exhibited with International Association and with the London Group
1938   Summer: to Somerset – a period more of travel than work. September: to Knokke in Belgium. Agar took more photographs
1939   Spring: to Toulon. Agar painted soldiers on the quay and found the amphora base for the Marine Object in a fishing net. Exhibited with the London Group
1937 - 1940   Showed in exhibitions organised by the Surrealists in England
1940   February 29th: married Joseph Bard. War disrupted painting. War work in a canteen in Savile Row until the end of the war. First meetings of the British Surrealists at the Barcelona Restaurant. Exhibited in Surrealism Today, at Zwemmer Gallery, London. Visits from Paul Nash
1941   Exhibited with the London Group
1942   Solo exhibition at the Redfern Gallery, London; exhibited with the London Group (also in 1943 & 1947)
1935 - 1944   Affair with Paul Nash
1944   Visit to Buttermere in Lake District. Agar painted watercolour landscapes. Visit to Edinburgh. ELT Mesens published poem about Agar in Troisième Front
1945   War ended. Visit to Cornwall
1946   Started painting agagin but dissatisfied with work
1947   Contributed to the Surrealist exhibition at the Galerie Maeght, Paris. Travelled with the PEN Club to Stockholm
1949   Spring: solo exhibition at the Hanover Gallery, written up by Geoffrey Grigson in The Listener. Summer: with PEN Club to Venice. Met Peggy Guggenheim
1950   Summer: to Provence with sister Winifred
1952 - 1953   Winter: to Puerto de la Cruz, Tenerife; began to make watercolours and frottages of the landscape
1954 - 1957   Winter: visits to Tenerife
1958   Agar and Bard moved to West House, Melbury Road, Kensington
1960   Visits to Venice and Cornwall. Joseph Bard unwell
1962   Joseph Bard ill. Tate Gallery bought the Flying Pillar
1965   Agar discoved acrylic paints
1968   Proposal for retrospective exhibition. Began large scale canvases for the exhibition
1971   Retrospective exhibition at the Commonwealth Institute, London
1975   July 26: death of Joseph Bard
1981   Exhibition of recent work at the New Art Centre
1985   Began a series of paintings based on photographs of Ploumanach. Photographed by Lord Snowden modelling clothes by Issey Miyake
1987   Moved from Westbury House
1988   Autobiography A Look at my Life published
1989   Appeared in Channel Four TV documentary Five Women Artists
1990   Elected Academician of the Royal Academy, London
1991   November 17: died in London
2000   Eileen Agar 1899-1991: Paintings and Drawings A Centenary Exhibition, The Redfern Gallery, London (solo)
1999 - 2000   Eileen Agar 1899-1991: A Centenary Exhibition,Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh and Leeds City Art Gallery (solo)
1997   El Objecto Surrealista, Ivam Centre Julio Gonzalez, Valencia
1996   In the Mind’s Eye: Surrealist Works on Paper, Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester
1992   Ten Decades. Careers of Ten Women Artists Born 1897-1906. Norwich Gallery, Norfolk Institute of Art and Design, Norwich
1990   Collages Surréalistes, Galerie Zabriskie, Paris
1989   British Surrealism, Blond Fine Art, London
1989   I surrealisti, Palazzo Reale, Milan
1988   The Surrealist Spirit in England, Whitford and Hughes, London
1987   La Femme et le Surréalisme, Musée Cantonal des Beaux-Arts, Lausanne
1987   Surrealismi Retretti, Art Centre Suomi, Finland
1987   Retrospective Exhibition, Birch and Conran Gallery, London (solo)
1986   Contrariwise: Surrealism and Britain 1930-1986, Swansea Festival Exhibition, Swansea
1986   Surrealism in England, 1936 and After, Canterbury College of Art, Herbert Read Gallery, Canterbury
1986   Angels of Anarchy and Machines for Making Clouds. Surrealism in Britain in the Thirties, Leeds City Art Galleries
1986   Women Artists of the Surrealist Movement, Baruch College Gallery, New York
1986   British Surrealism – Fifty Years On, The Mayor Gallery, London
1986   British Surrealism – Fifty Years On, The Mayor Gallery, London
1986   1936 Surrealism: Objects, Photographs, Collages, Documents, Zabriskie Gallery, New York
1985   British Women Surrealists, Blond Fine Art, London
1985   A Salute to British Surrealism 1930-1950, The Minories, Colchester; Blond Fine Art, London; Ferens Art Gallery, Hull
1985   Je ne comprends pas la raison, James Birch Fine Art, London
1985   La Planète affolée: Surréalsime dispersion et influences 1938-1947, Musées de Marseilles
1985   Objects from a Landscape Ploumanach and Port-Cross, New Art Centre, London (solo)
1984   New Art Centre, London (solo)
1984   In the Spirit of Surrealism, Oliver Bradbury and James Birch Fine Art, London
1983   New Art Centre, London (solo)
1983   The Story of the Artists’ International Association, 1933-1953, Museum of Modern Art, Oxford and touring
1982   The Women’s Art Show 1950-1970, Nottingham City Museum and Art Gallery, Nottingham
1982   Peinture Surréaliste en Angleterre 1930-1969, Galerie 1900-2000, Paris
1981   Image and Form: British Sculpture in the 20th Century, 1901-1950, Whitechapel Art Gallery, London
1981   The First Fifty Years. British Art of the Twentieth Century, National Art Gallery, Wellington, New Zealand
1981   Paintings and Drawings, New Art Centre, London (solo)
1980   Clementi House, London (solo)
1980   The Other Face of the Avant-Garde 1910-1940, Palazzo Reale, Milan and Stockholm
1980   Photographic Surrealism, travelling exhibition, New York, Cleveland, Ohio and touring
1979   International Exhibition of Soft Art, Kunsthaus, Zurich
1979   Thirties: British Art and Design before the War, Hayward Gallery, London
1978   Dada and Surrealism Reviewed, Hayward Gallery, London
1978   New Art Centre, London (solo)
1976   A Decade of Discoveries, New Art Centre, London (solo)
1976   Leon Underwood and 12 Girdler’s Road, New Arts Centre, London.
1976   British Painting 1900-1960, Sheffield City Art Gallery
1975   New Art Centre, London (solo)
1975   The Obelisk Gallery, London (solo)
1974   British Painting 1974, Hayward Gallery, London
1974   Hampstead in the Thirties. A Committed Decade, Camden Arts Centre, London
1973   The Illustration of Reality and the Reality of Illusion, McRobert Centre, Stirling University
1971   Britain’s Contribution to Surrealism of the ‘30s and ‘40s, Hamet Gallery, London
1971   Retrospective Exhibition, Commonwealth Art Gallery, London (solo)
1969   John Moores’ Exhibition, Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool
1967   The Enchanted Domain, Surrealist Art, The City Gallery, Exeter
1965   Art in Britain 1930-40, Marlborough Gallery, London
1965   Moyan Gallery 2, Manchester (solo)
1964   Paintings and Collages, Brook Street Gallery, London (solo)
1964   Fifty Years of British Art 1914-64, London Group Jubilee Exhibition, Tate Gallery, London
1963   Bilico Gallery, Rome (solo)
1962   Recent Paintings 1960-62, Brook Street Gallery, London (solo)
1961   John Moores’ Exhibition, Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool
1961   The Art of Assemblage, Museum of Modern Art, New York
1956   Modern Trends in Watercolour Painting, Cumberland House, Museum and Art Gallery, Portsmouth
1952   Mirror and the Square, New Burlington Galleries, London
1951   London Group, New Burlington Galleries, London
1951   The Hanover Gallery, London (solo)
1949   Recent Paintings, The Hanover Gallery, London (solo)
1947   The Leger Gallery, London (solo)
1947   Exposition Internationale du Surréalisme, Galerie Maeght, Paris
1945   Works, by Eminent British Artists, Russell-Cotes Gallery, Bournemouth
1944   The Redfern Gallery, London (solo)
1942   The Redfern Gallery, London (solo)
1942   New Movements in Contemporary Art. Contemporary Work in England, London Museum, London
1940   Surrealist Work: Artists’ International Association, Whitechapel Art Gallery, London
1940   Surrealism Today, Zwemmer Gallery, London
1939   Living Art in England, London Gallery, London
1939   British Surrealist and Abstract Paintings, Northampton Art Gallery, Northampton
1939   Artists’ International Association, Artists for Peace, Democracy and Cultural Development, Whitechapel Art Gallery, London
1938   Exposition Internationale du Surréalisme, Galerie Robert, Amsterdam
1938   Pictures on the Staircase, London Gallery, London
1937   Artists’ International Association, Unity of Artists for Peace, Democracy And Cultural Development, Whitechapel Art Gallery, London
1937   38 Surrealist Objects and Poems, London Gallery, London
1937   Exposition Internationale du Surréalisme, Nippon Salon, Tokyo, Japan
1936   International Surrealist Exhibition, New Burlington Galleries, London
1936   Fantastic Art, Dada and Surrealism, Museum of Modern Art, New York
1933   Bloomsbury Gallery, London (solo)