"The Angel of Anarchy" by Eileen Agar
Angels of Anarchy – Manchester Art Gallery
Angels of Anarchy is the first major exhibition to be held in Europe on women artists in Surrealism, celebrating the contribution these outstanding women played in one of the greatest movements in art history.
The exhibition title, taken from a work by Eileen Agar, hints at a subtly recurring theme found throughout; these ‘angels’ dare to push their artistry forwards in an almost rebellious, somewhat dissatisfied and provocative manner, whilst retaining sexuality, femininity and mysticism.
As we approach the 90th anniversary of Surrealism, there seems like no better place than Manchester to play host, as Fiona Corridan, a curator of the exhibition explains, “there is a high pedigree in Manchester’s art galleries. If you look at the radical nature of Manchester’s history, the Suffragettes, for example, it fits with the radicalism in the exhibition.”
Opening our eyes to lesser known, slightly more obscure artists alongside works by Frida Khalo and Lee Miller, the exhibition promises to be a once in a lifetime opportunity to enjoy such a vast collection of important works. “A revisionist take on Surrealism,” says Fiona Corridan, “which highlights a forgotten history.”
Visit www.manchestergalleries.org/angelsofanarchy for more information.
[ The ironing board image comes from Comte de Lautréamont (1868) Les Chants de Maldoror written in Paris.
Agar produced a first version of the Angel in 1937, it was lost and the second version, illustrated, was made in 1940-3.
Two books in particular have informed this post: Eileen Agar (1988) A Look at My Life (Methuen, London); and Michel Remy (1999) Surrealism in Britain (Ashgate, London). ]
Bard and Agar in 1937
Eileen Agar (1904-1991) and husband since 1940, Hungarian Joseph Bard (1889-1975) by Roland Penrose (1900-1984)