Come on Eileen

Portrait by Matthew R Lewis (

Eileen Forrester Agar was a British artist associated with the Surrealist movement. Born in Buenos Aires, 1899, to a Scottish father and an American mother, Agar moved with her family to London in 1911. In 1928 she moves to Paris with the Hungarian writer Joseph Bard, whom she married later in 1940, to study art for two years. While there, she becomes friends with the Surrealists André Breton and Paul Éluard.

Back in London, she was a member of the British Surrealist Group, founded in 1936. Agar exhibited her works with the Surrealists in England and abroad.

In the mid-1930s Agar and Bard began renting a house for the summer at Swanage in Dorset, where she met Paul Nash (+). Together, they collaborated on a number of works. In 1937, Agar spent a holiday at Picasso and Dora Maar’s home in Mougins, Alpes-Maritimes, along with Paul Éluard, Nusch, Roland Penrose and Lee Miller (+).

She died in London, in 1991. Agar has paintings in the collection of several British institutions including Derby Art Gallery, Bradford and the UK Government collection.

What I like so much about Eileen Agar is how her pieces are all so different from one another. She was interested in varied mediums and techniques, from sculpture to collages and photography. She was clearly influenced by several different styles, probably a reflection of her many travels and connections.
I must admit she is one of my favourite artists in this exhibition and I would very much enjoy learning more about her work methods.

(+) Artists also featured in the exhibition Sussex Modernism.


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