20th Century British Art
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Eileen Agar (1899-1991)

Eileen Agar was born in Buenos Aires and moved to England as a child, attending the Byam Shaw School of Art (1919), Brook Green School of Art (1924) and the Slade School of Fine Art (1925-6). 

In 1929, she left her husband and moved to Paris, where she associated with Paul Éluard, Ezra Pound and André Breton (1896–1966). 

She held her first solo show in 1933, at London’s Bloomsbury Gallery, and became a member of the LG in 1934. Over the next decade her work became increasingly Surrealist, and she contributed artworks to the 1936 International Surrealist Exhibition in London. 

Agar painted radical works that explored female sexuality and womanhood. Remarking on her painting Autobiography of an Embryo (1933–4) in relation to her decision to remain childless, she explained, “I was more interested in becoming a painter than in being a mother”. Her autobiography, A Look at My Life, was published in 1988.

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