Surrealism, domesticity and subversion : Eileen Agar at home
Campbell, Louise. (2012) Surrealism, domesticity and subversion : Eileen Agar at home. Interiors: Design, Architecture and Culture, Volume 3 (Number 3). pp. 227-246. ISSN 2041-9120Full text not available from this repository.
Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.2752/204191212X13470263746951
This article examines the work of Eileen Agar, one of several women to participate in the 1936 London International Surrealist Exhibition, as a patron of modern design and an originator of remarkable assemblages, costumes, and interiors. In 1932, Agar, a wealthy, Slade-trained painter and patron of the arts, took possession of a London studio flat remodeled for her by the architect Rodney Thomas. This place - customized by Agar later that decade - was instrumental in Herbert Read's decision to include her in the exhibition. The decor of Agar's studio flat, with its dense mosaic of images and objects, contrasted with approaches to interior decoration in 1930s England and embodied a critique of both old and new modes of domesticity. This article suggests that the domestic interior, with its Victorian associations of privacy and family life, a place redolent of hidden secrets, was of great interest to English Surrealists. It also explores the ways in which Agar - an upper-class beauty whose participation in the Surrealist exhibition fascinated the press - deftly took advantage of the publicity she attracted in order to parody the preoccupation of the contemporary debutante and society hostess with furnishing, dress, and entertaining, and to provide a subversive reconfiguration of it.
|Item Type:||Journal Article|
|Divisions:||Faculty of Arts > History of Art|
|Journal or Publication Title:||Interiors: Design, Architecture and Culture|
|Page Range:||pp. 227-246|
|Access rights to Published version:||Restricted or Subscription Access|
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