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Eileen Agar stars in "momentous" Venice Biennale

April 26, 2022

Work by Eileen Agar is on show in the Central Pavilion at this year's Venice Biennale, alongside fellow pioneering female Surrealists of the twentieth century. 


Agar is included in 'The Witch's Cradle', one of five historical capsules curated by Cecilia Alemani. In a review for ArtForum, Kate Sutton writes that 'The Witch's Cradle' is "the core of the show", described as "a warm, carpeted den teeming with powerful women such as Toyen, Carol Rama, Dorothea Tanning, Remedios Varo, Baya Mahieddine, Leonor Fini, and Leonora Carrington".


Agar is represented by painting as well as sculpture. An early sculpture, made from found shells and a sea urchin, is on loan from the Tate, while the Redfern Gallery has loaned the painting Wisdom Tooth. In the wall texts, written especially for the Biennale, Stefano Mundo has drawn parallels between the two works, with the layering and impasto in Wisdom Tooth assuming a "distinctly sculptural quality", which "suggest a landscape invaded by organic and inorganic incrustations".


The 59th Venice Biennale has been described as "outstanding" (The Financial Times), and "the most momentous biennale in living memory" (The Guardian).