I understand
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1899 – 1991

Adam’s Apple
Watercolour on paper
49 x 37 cm
Bequeathed by Charles Lindsay Sutherland © The Estate of Eileen Agar / Bridgeman Images. Photography Jerry Hardman-Jones


Born in Argentina, Agar moved to London in 1911 and studied at the Slade School of Art before moving to Paris in 1928.

There she met the founders of the Surrealist movement, and she exhibited in the International Surrealist Exhibition in London in 1936. By the time this work was made, Agar had exhibited in Surrealist exhibitions all over the world.

Here, a worm emerging from an apple recalls John Tenniel’s illustration of the caterpillar in Alice in Wonderland, a book which was inspirational to the Surrealists. The title offers another reading of the work, connecting it to questions of gender and sexuality.