Lee Miller and Surrealism in Britain (Hardcover)

Lee Miller and Surrealism in Britain By Eleanor Clayton (Editor) Cover Image

Lee Miller and Surrealism in Britain (Hardcover)

By Eleanor Clayton (Editor)


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Lee Miller (1907–1977) moved to London in the late 1930s, just as a rich strand of Surrealist practice was burgeoning in Britain. Miller was central to its development and prolonged life after World War II, exhibiting alongside British Surrealists such as Eileen Agar and Henry Moore in often overlooked London exhibitions. This book is the first to present Lee Miller’s photographs of, and collaborations with, key British Surrealists to tell the story of this exciting cultural moment. Miller's interdisciplinary photographic practice acted as a conduit for the dispersal of Surrealist images out of the realm of fine art and into the worlds of fashion, commercial photography, and journalism. A vital study for all students and enthusiasts of Surrealism and for those enthralled by the enigmatic Lee Miller, this book reveals the social and cultural networks in which she was embedded, offering a holistic view of her work and the life of the Surrealist movement in Britain.
Eleanor Clayton is Curator at The Hepworth Wakefield, previously Assistant Curator at Tate Liverpool, and has published widely on British modern and contemporary art. She is the editor of Howard Hodgkin: Painting India (Lund Humphries, 2017).
Product Details ISBN: 9781848222724
ISBN-10: 1848222726
Publisher: Lund Humphries
Publication Date: September 1st, 2018
Pages: 160
Language: English
"The trouble with this show, however, is that there just aren’t enough works by Miller. In a bid to place her in context, the curators overload us with pieces by middling British surrealists who were her peers but not her equals. Of the 140 exhibits, more than half are not by Miller. Which seems a pity, given that her archive extends to more than 60,000 works. This exhibition ends up, in fact, feeling like two distinct shows: one devoted to Miller, and another to mid-20th century surrealism in Britain. The former alone would have been sufficient." —Alistair Smart, Daily Mail

"... we have an inspired pairing of shows at The Hepworth Wakefield on Lee Miller and Viviane Sassen, two photographers with Surrealist leanings. Their work may be separated by three quarters of a century, but it is united by a desire to unsettle and spook. Since her death in 1977, Miller the muse has rather overshadowed..." —Christian House, Telegraph

"Lee Miller’s "Nude Bent Forward": phallic curves from a pioneering female surrealist This marble-white, semi-abstract image of the female body plays with Freud’s emerging theories of the sexual undercurrents in everyday life." —The Guardian

"The show dissects both the trope of Miller-as-muse and the female body-as-object more generally in a series of swift, sharp slices." —Lucy Scholes, NY Books

"A new exhibition seeks to reclaim Lee Miller’s legacy as an artist in her own right, rather than a muse for others. It does so rather well." —Claudia Pritchard, The New European