For the inaugural exhibition of the Upper Galleries of our museum we will present a selection of work by English Surrealists & Crypto-Surrealists Pailthorpe and Mednikoff, Leonora Carrington, Robin Ironside & Austin Osman Spare drawn from the permanent collection & loans from private collections

Leonora Carrington (1917-2011)

Escaped the life of an English Debutante and eloped with Max Ernst in 1937 becoming an integral part of the French Surrealists before settling in Mexico City in the 1940s. The Museums permanent collection contains an in depth collection of her graphic work

Pailthorpe & Mednikoff 

“In the 1930s Pailthorpe and Mednikoff were hailed as “the best and most truly Surrealist” of any artists living in Britain by André Breton, leader of the movement. Herbert Read, the art critic, ranked them alongside William Blake and Lewis Carroll in the canon of British “super-realists”. Desmond Morris, the anthropologist who was also once in the British Surrealist group, said they created some of the most “serious and important works” of the day.” Catherine Milner

Austin Osman Spare (1886-1956)

Perhaps best known as an Occultist & associate of Aleister Crowley in the 1930s he was hailed as the father of Surrealism for his earlier work on automatic writing and explorations of the unconscious & produced a set of “Surrealist Racing Cards.  The exhibition will draw on the museums extensive holdings of his paintings and drawings

Robin Ironside (1912-65)

“Robin Ironside, rake-thin and dirt-poor but always exquisitely dressed, looked as if he’d stepped out of the pages of some 19th-century novel. Edgar Allan Poe, Charles Baudelaire or Joris-Karl Huysmans would all have recognised him as a spiritual kinsman. A glittering-eyed dope fiend addicted to both Benzedrine and opium, Ironside was a chain-smoker who also experimented with mescaline and LSD. I picture him with tiny brushes and magnifying glass in hand, obsessively painting, correcting, erasing and repainting through the night to create the phantasmagorical images of sensuality, excess and decay we see in this show.” Richard Dorment

26th February- 31st May