miércoles, 13 de septiembre de 2017

MIRADA PERDIDA || Christa Zaat

Christa Zaat

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Eileen Forrester Agar (British painter and photographer) 1899 - 1991
Eileen Agar, 1927
oil on canvas
76.5 x 64.1 cm. (30.13 x 25.25 in.)
National Portrait Gallery, London, United Kingdom

Eileen Agar moved to England from her birthplace, Buenos Aires, Argentina, in 1906. She studied at the Byam Shaw School of Art (1919-20), at the Leon Underwood School of Painting and Sculpture (1920-21), where her peers included Henry Moore (1898-1986) and Gertrude Hermes (see pp.86-7), and then at the Slade School of Fine Art (1922-6). The death of her father in 1925 provided her with a private income which enabled 'une vie d'artiste' in Paris between 1928 and 1930. In the late 1930s Agar found herself in the milieu of the Surrealist avant-garde. She was the only British woman painter included in the International Surrealist Exhibition held at the New Burlington Galleries, London, in 1936. Paul Nash (1889-1946) and Sir Herbert Read (1893-1968) selected her for inclusion in the show and described themselves as 'enchanted by the rare quality of her talent, the product of a highly sensitive imagination and a feminine clairvoyance'. (Quoted in D. Ades, 'Notes on two women Surrealist painters: Eileen Agar and Ithell Colquhoun', Oxford Art Journal, iii/I, 1980, p.37.) She spent the summer of 1937 at Mougins with Nash (with whom she also had an affair between 1935 and 1940), Paul Éluard (1895-1952), Sir Roland Penrose (1900-84), Man Ray (1890-1976) and Pablo Picasso (1881-1973). World War II disrupted her painting and she did not start working again seriously until 1946. She exhibited with the Surrealists in New York, Tokyo, Paris and Amsterdam.
Painted onto coarse canvas, this work bears the confidence of youth. Agar portrays herself in a robust three-quarter pose using black to delineate her features. The green that she wears recurs in the shadows on her face and her auburn hair is rendered in impasto. The work is painted in a loose post-Impressionist style.
Eileen Agar's work is in the collections of the Tate, the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art and Leeds City Art Gallery. Birch and Conran Fine Art, London, gave her a retrospective in 1987, which revived her career. Agar wrote her autobiography
A Look at My Life with Andrew Lambirth in 1988. This painting was purchased from the artist's niece in 1986.

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