A Look at My Life

Eileen Agar, Andrew Lambirth, Olivia Fraser

A beautiful new edition of the long out-of-print autobiography of the pioneering Surrealist artist Eileen Agar.

Whether dancing on the rooftops in Paris, sharing ideas with Pablo Picasso, or gathering starfish on the beaches of Cornwall, Eileen Agar transformed the everyday into the extraordinary. Her legacy as a pioneering figure in the surrealist movement is firmly established, and her work continues to captivate audiences with its otherworldly beauty and imaginative power.

Agar’s life was no less extraordinary than her art. In A Look at My Life, she traces her life from her birth in Argentina to the late 1980s. She gives an intimate account of very different worlds: grand house parties in Buenos Aires and Belgravia as a young girl give way to la vie bohème in London and Paris and a peripatetic existence with her lifelong partner, Hungarian writer Joseph Bard. She enjoyed enriching friendships with contemporaries Paul Nash, Ezra Pound, Evelyn Waugh, Gertrude Hermes, and Henry Moore, while a summer spent in the South of France with Picasso, Lee Miller, and Man Ray had a lasting impact. Agar introduces them and many others into the narrative of her artistic development; above all, it is Agar’s own unwavering resilience, infectious energy, and drive that permeates this compelling memoir.

Bringing her work to life in all its vibrancy and variety, this updated autobiography is populated with Agar’s personal selection of photographs of family, friends, and lovers alongside over fifty color illustrations of collages, paintings, and assemblages spanning her life’s work.


Agar was arguably more self-knowing and outgoing than many artists, and also wrote well… This pithy memoir details her social, sex and working life as well as the British art scene before and after World War II [and] should help bring back her life and work in all their aspects.

— The New York Times


Eileen Agar


Eileen Agar (1899-1991)was a painter, collagist, photographer, and object-maker, and was associated with the international surrealist movement. Her work has been extensively exhibited to increasing acclaim, including retrospectives at the Whitechapel Gallery, London; at Pallant House Gallery, Chichester; and at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh.

Andrew Lambirth

Introduction By

Andrew Lambirth is a writer, curator, and critic. He has written for a wide variety of newspapers and magazines, and was art critic at The Spectator from 2002 to 2014. The first book he worked on was Eileen Agar's autobiography, A Look at My Life, initially published in 1988 and recently reissued by Thames & Hudson. Among his other books are monographs on Roger Hilton, RB Kitaj, Maggi Hambling, John Hoyland, Margaret Mellis, and John Nash. He lives in Wiltshire, surrounded by books and pictures.

Olivia Fraser

Foreword By

Olivia Fraser is a contemporary artist based in India. She is the great-niece of Eileen Agar.