A tale of mother's bones: Grace Pailthorpe, Reuben Mednikoff, and the birth of psychorealism

Wolf, Hope, with the De La Warr Pavilion, and Camden Arts Centre, A tale of mother's bones: Grace Pailthorpe, Reuben Mednikoff, and the birth of psychorealism. [Show/Exhibition]

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Abstract

Dr Grace Pailthorpe (surgeon/ psychoanalyst / artist, 1883-1971) and Reuben Mednikoff (artist, 1906-1972) began collaborating in 1935. From that year until their deaths, they produced a huge body of work that included startlingly vivid and wildly experimental paintings and drawings, often paired with in-depth psychoanalytic interpretation, as well as autobiography, poetry and short stories. They spent decades of their lives researching how the visual and literary arts might liberate individuals and societies from the constraints that sickened and impoverished them, together developing a creative process that combined Surrealism with psychoanalysis, bringing artistic and scientific thinking together.

The work of Pailthorpe and Mednikoff is still relatively unknown, and A Tale of Mother’s Bones is the most significant presentation of their work in almost 20 years. Drawing on original archival research, it tells the story of the couple’s lives through their works, showing how they excavated their earliest memories (including memories of birth) in order to understand their adult relationships, critical reception, political context, and spiritual beliefs. The exhibition reinstates the couple within the artistic and intellectual histories they contributed to, and reveals a new term developed by the pair: Psychorealism.

The exhibition toured between three UK venues: De La Warr Pavilion, 6 October 2018 – 20 January 2019, Camden Arts Centre, 12 April – 23 June 2019, and Newlyn Art Gallery and the Exchange, 19 October 2019 – 04 January 2020. The first exhibitions were curated by Hope Wolf with Rosie Cooper, Head of Exhibitions at the De La Warr Pavilion, Martin Clark, Director, Camden Arts Centre, and Gina Buenfeld, Curator, Camden Arts Centre. The last exhibition was curated by Hope Wolf in collaboration with Camden Arts Centre and the De La Warr Pavilion.

Item Type: Show/Exhibition
Additional Information: The exhibitions at the De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill (6 October 2018 – 20 January 2019) and Camden Arts Centre, London (12 April – 23 June 2019), were curated by Hope Wolf with Rosie Cooper, Martin Clark and Gina Buenfeld. The exhibition at Newlyn Art Gallery and the Exchange (19 October 2019 – 04 January 2020) was curated by Hope Wolf with the De La Warr Pavilion and Camden Arts Centre.
Keywords: Surrealism, Psychoanalysis, Modernism
Schools and Departments: School of English > English
Research Centres and Groups: Centre for Modernist Studies
Subjects: N Fine Arts
N Fine Arts > N Visual arts (General) For photography, see TR
N Fine Arts > NC Drawing. Design. Illustration
N Fine Arts > ND Painting
P Language and Literature
P Language and Literature > PR English literature
P Language and Literature > PR English literature > PR6000 1900-1960
Depositing User: Hope Wolf
Date Deposited: 29 Oct 2018 10:20
Last Modified: 21 Nov 2019 18:07
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/79750
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