A Look at My Life by Eileen Agar: Thames & Hudson – Book Review

 A Look at My Life by Eileen Agar: Thames & Hudson - Book Review

In Surrealist art, Eileen Agar shines brightly as a hive of creativity and innovation. Now, in an overdue revival, her long out-of-print autobiography, “A Look at My Life,” resurfaces in a beautiful new edition, inviting readers into the fascinating world of one of the movement’s most intriguing figures.

Much like her art, Agar’s life was filled with adventure, intellect, and boundless imagination. From her upbringing in Argentina to her vacations in the artistic hotspots of Paris and London, Agar’s narrative takes us on a journey through the corridors of time and space, revealing the inner workings of a remarkable mind.

One of the most striking aspects of Agar’s memoir is her candid portrayal of the diverse worlds she inhabited. From glittering soirées in Buenos Aires to bohemian escapades in the streets of Montparnasse, she captures the essence of each milieu with an artist’s eye for detail and a storyteller’s flair for drama.

Central to Agar’s story is her enduring partnership with Hungarian writer Joseph Bard, which served as both anchor and inspiration throughout her life. Together, they navigated the turbulent waters of the avant-garde, forging friendships with luminaries such as Picasso, Lee Miller, and Man Ray, whose influence left a mark on Agar’s artistic vision.

What sets “A Look at My Life” apart is Agar’s remarkable ability to intertwine personal anecdotes with reflections on art, culture, and society. Through her vivid prose and evocative imagery, she invites readers into her world, offering glimpses of the people, places, and experiences that shaped her artistic sensibility.

Accompanying Agar’s narrative are over fifty colour illustrations of her collages, paintings, and assemblages, providing a visual feast for the eyes and a deeper understanding of her creative evolution. Each artwork reflects Agar’s unique perspective and boundless creativity, from the whimsical to the profound.

In his insightful introduction, Andrew Lambirth speaks of Agar’s enduring legacy and contributions to the Surrealist movement. As a writer, curator, and critic, Lambirth’s perspective adds depth and context to Agar’s story, placing her within the broader landscape of 20th-century art.

A Look at My Life” is an essential overview of Eileen Agar’s indomitable spirit and unwavering commitment to artistic expression. With its engaging narrative, this new edition is a must-read for art enthusiasts, historians, and anyone captivated by the power of the imagination.

PCR Artlyst

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