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Exhibitions x Eiderdown Books

As lockdown in the UK finally looks set to come to an end, we take a look ahead to three major exhibitions taking place this summer which will celebrate some of the artists from the Modern Women Artists series published by Eiderdown Books.

Eileen Agar: Angel of Anarchy

The Whitechapel Gallery, London

19 May - 29 August 2021

Curated by Laura Smith, author of the book on Eileen Agar published by Eiderdown Books, this definitive retrospective will chart the artist's ground-breaking career from the 1920s to the 1990s.

From early works influenced by her teachings at The Slade, through her experiments with Cubism and her inclusion in the 1936 International Surrealist Exhibition, to her later compositions of lyrical abstraction, Eileen Agar: Angel of Anarchy will feature over 150 works, many of which are illustrated in book number six from the Modern Women Artists series.

Pieces from important public and private collections as well as newly discovered archival material reveal Agar as one of the most dynamic, bold and prolific artists of her generation, which included friends Andre Breton, Gertrude Hermes, Dora Maar, Lee Miller, Paul Nash and Man Ray.

Eileen Agar by Laura Smith (978-1916-0416-53) is available now from Eiderdown Books or your local bookshop.

We are delighted to have Laura Smith in conversation about Eileen Agar in several forthcoming events. Please check out our EVENT pages for what's coming up.


Nina Hamnett

Charleston, East Sussex

19 May - 31 August 2021

Originally scheduled for 2019, this long-awaited exhibition will celebrate the work of the amazing Nina Hamnett and will be the first retrospective of the artist in this country.

Featuring works that span three decades, the exhibition will explore key aspects of the Welsh artist’s practice from her painting to her technical drawing skills, which have, in recent times, remained little known and largely unseen.

Author of the new Nina Hamnett book, published by Eiderdown Books, Dr Alicia Foster is also Associate Curator of the exhibition at Charleston, home to the Bloomsbury artists.

Nina Hamnett by Alicia Foster (978-1-9160416-6-0) will be published by Eiderdown Books on 2 April 2021 and is available to pre-order now.

You can hear Dr Alicia Foster in conversation about Nina Hamnett and her work in an upcoming online talk in partnership with Five Leaves Bookshop. Click here to book tickets.


Laura Knight: A Celebration

Penlee House Gallery & Museum, Penzance

28 April - 11 September 2021

Dame Laura Knight (1877-1970) was one of the twentieth century’s most prolific British artists. Over her long career, Knight painted scenes in Cornwall, Yorkshire and Worcestershire. She became fascinated by performers, especially in the circus, and developed a talent for capturing the extraordinary within the everyday.

Laura Knight’s career spanned 80 years and encompassed a huge variety of subjects, techniques and styles. Her achievements included being the first woman elected to the Royal Academy since 1769 and being made a Dame in 1929.

The exhibition will bring together over 60 works by the artist, exploring different themes she became fascinated with over her life. Her stunning landscapes in Cornwall, Yorkshire and Worcestershire will be shown alongside her paintings of circus performers and Gypsies.

Many of the works in the exhibition are featured in Alice Strickland's richly illustrated book about the artist, which also covers her time in Cornwall, and some of her favourite subjects including the ballet, the circus and gypsy communities.

You can hear Dr Alice Strickland in conversation as part of the night school series of events in partnership with Five Leaves Bookshop in Nottingham, in an online talk this March. Tickets are still available here.

Laura Knight by Alice Strickland (978-1-9160416-3-9) is available to buy from Eiderdown Books here

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