A Look at My Life


‘A thrilling insight into one of the 20th century’s great artists. Agar’s exuberant and colourful life and work come alive in this book’ Katy Hessel


ISBN: 9780500026809 Category:

Eileen Agar


‘A thrilling insight into one of the 20th century’s great artists. Agar’s exuberant and colourful life and work come alive in this book’ Katy Hessel

‘A vivid panorama of an adventurous and stimulating age’ Financial Times

Whether dancing on the rooftops in Paris, sharing ideas with Pablo Picasso, or gathering starfish on the beaches of Cornwall, Eileen Agar (1899-1991) transformed the everyday into the extraordinary. Her legacy as a pioneering figure in the Surrealist movement is firmly established, and her work continues to captivate audiences with its otherworldly beauty and imaginative power.

Agar’s life was no less extraordinary than her art. Here, she traces her life from her birth in Argentina to the late 1980s. She gives an intimate account of very different worlds: grand house parties in Buenos Aires and Belgravia as a young girl give way to la vie bohème in London and Paris, and a peripatetic existence with her lifelong partner, Hungarian writer Joseph Bard. She enjoyed enriching friendships with contemporaries Paul Nash, Ezra Pound, Evelyn Waugh, Gertrude Hermes and Henry Moore, while a summer spent in the South of France with Picasso, Lee Miller and Man Ray had a lasting impact. Agar introduces them and many others into the narrative of her artistic development; above all, it is Agar’s own unwavering resilience, infectious energy and drive that permeates this compelling memoir.

Bringing her work to life in all its vibrancy and variety, this updated autobiography is populated with Agar’s own personal selection of photographs of family, friends and lovers alongside over fifty colour illustrations of collages, paintings and assemblages spanning her life’s work.

Additional information

Weight 1050 g
Dimensions 17.6 x 24.7 cm
Publisher name Thames and Hudson Ltd
Publication date 2 May 2024
Number of pages 336
Format Hardback
Contributors Introduction by Andrew Lambirth, Foreword by Olivia Fraser
Dimensions 17.6 x 24.7 cm
Weight 1050 g


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Eileen Agar (1899-1991) was a painter, collagist, photographer and object-maker, and was associated with the International Surrealist movement from 1936. Her work has been extensively exhibited to increasing acclaim, including retrospectives at the Whitechapel Art Gallery, London (2021), Pallant House, Chichester (2008), and at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art in Edinburgh (1999). Andrew Lambirth is a writer, critic and curator. He has published numerous monographs and has written many articles for, amongst others, The Spectator, the Sunday Telegraph, the Guardian, The Sunday Times, the Independent and RA Magazine.