Women Surrealists

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Remedios Varo, Exploration of the Source of the Orinoco River, 1959.

Women Surrealists are women artists, photographers, filmmakers and authors connected with the Surrealist Movement, which began in the early 1920s.


  • Eileen Forrester Agar (1899–1991) was born in Argentina and moved to Britain in childhood. She was prominent among British surrealists; Agar made intricate collages and paintings of abstract organic shapes.[1]
  • Leonora Carrington (1917–2011) was a British-born Surrealist painter. She met the Surrealist Max Ernst in 1937, and had a painful and complicated relationship with him. Much of her work is autobiographical.[2]
  • Kay Sage (1898–1963) began painting surrealist landscapes in the late 1930s, met and married fellow surrealist Yves Tanguy in 1940.[2]
  • Dorothea Tanning (1910–2012) was unable to join the Surrealists in Paris in 1940 because of the threat of war; she worked in New York, Arizona, and then Paris after the war. Her work has a rumpled, "juicy" look.[2]
  • Remedios Varo (1908–1963), a Spaniard who moved to Mexico, was known for her dreamlike paintings of scientific apparatus. She was married to the Surrealist poet Benjamin Peret.[2][3]
  • Margaret Modlin (1927 – 1998) was an American surrealist painter, sculptor and photographer who spent most of her adult life in Spain.



  • Claude Cahun (1894–1954) was a French photographer and writer, associated with the surrealist movement.
  • Henriette Grindat (1923–1986) was one of the few Swiss women to develop an interest in artistic photography, associating with André Breton and later collaborating with Albert Camus.
  • Dora Maar (1907–1997) was a Croatian-born French photographer who had a nine-year relationship with Pablo Picasso.
  • Emila Medková (1928–1985) was a Czech photographer who began producing surrealistic works in 1947, above all remarkable documentary images of the urban environment.
  • Lee Miller (1907–1977) was an American photographer, photojournalist and model.
  • Francesca Woodman (1958–1981) was an American photographer who explored the relationship between the body and its surroundings.


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Colvile, Georgiana, Scandaleusement d'elles: trente-quatre femmes surréalistes, Jean-Michel Place, Paris, 1999 ISBN 978-2-85893-496-6
  2. ^ a b c d e f Heller, Nancy G., Women Artists: An Illustrated History, Abbeville Press, Publishers, New York 1987 ISBN 0-89659-748-2
  3. ^ Kaplan, Janet A. Unexpected Journeys: The Art and Life of Remedios Varo, Abbeville Press, New York 1988 ISBN 0-89659-797-0
  4. ^ Richard Vine, "Where the Wild Things Were", Art in America, May 1997, pp. 98-111
  5. ^ Warren, Lynn, Art in Chicago 1945-1995, Thames & Hudson, 1996 ISBN 978-0-500-23728-1
  6. ^ [1], Philadelphia Museum of Art, The Art and Fashion of Elsa Schiaparelli, (2003)