Mary Wykeham: Surrealist out of the Shadows (2023)

ISBN: 9781848225572
Artist(s): Mary Wykeham
Author(s): Silvano Levy
Format: hardback
Edition: First Edition
Year published: 2023
Publisher: Lund Humphries
Total Pages: 192
Illustrations: Profusely illustrated


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This book will be published on 30th November 2023

Original and idealistic, Mary Wykeham (1909-1996), to date neglected in the histories of surrealism, is brought centre stage in this first study of her remarkable pursuit of art – a creative impulse that witnessed her crossing Europe and finding success as a painter before embarking on a long struggle to reconcile her commitment to art with a religious calling.

Detailing Mary Wykeham’s biography, analysing her work, and sketching the development of her political and religious thought, Silvano Levy’s meticulous research reveals a surrealist oeuvre that is both innovative and poignant. A period of interest in Taoist spirituality resulted in mesmerising and unfathomable works. In a sudden move that shocked the artist’s avant-garde circle, Mary became a nun and was forced by her superiors to give up her art. Wrestling with her creative instincts, she eventually defied the prohibitions placed on her and resumed painting until her death. Fixing a fascinating artist firmly within the story of modern art, this ground-breaking publication brings to light the work of a little-known figure who demands to be brought out of the shadows.


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