Suvarna Garge (Editor)

Women Surrealists

Updated on
Share on FacebookTweet on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Reddit

Women Surrealists are women artists, photographers, filmmakers and authors connected with the Surrealist Movement, which began in the early 1920s.



  • Gertrude Abercrombie (1909–1977) was a Chicago artist inspired by the Surrealists, who became prominent in the 1930s and 1940s. She was also involved with the jazz music scene and was friends with musicians such as Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker, and Sarah Vaughan.
  • Marion Adnams (1898 - 1995) was an English painter, printmaker, and draughtswoman, notable for her surrealist paintings.
  • Eileen Forrester Agar (1899–1991) was born in Argentina and moved to Britain in childhood. She was prominent among British surrealists; Agar made intricate collages and paintings of abstract organic shapes.
  • Rachel Baes (1912-1983) was a Belgian painter, who from 1929 onwards was a member of the Surrealist group around René Magritte.
  • Fanny Brennan (1921-2001), painter
  • Emmy Bridgwater (1906–1999) was an English artist and poet associated with the Surrealist movement.
  • Leonora Carrington (1917–2011) was a British-born Mexican Surrealist painter. She met the Surrealist Max Ernst in 1937, and had a painful and complicated relationship with him. Much of her work is autobiographical.
  • Ithell Colquhoun (1906–1988) was a British Surrealist painter and author.
  • Leonor Fini (1907–1996), born in Buenos Aires and raised in Trieste, met the Surrealists in 1936 but never officially joined. She paints startling images, often with sphinxes or apparitions.
  • Valentine Hugo (1887–1968), was an illustrator and married to Jean Hugo, she participated in the Surrealist movement between 1930 and 1936.
  • Frida Kahlo (1907-1954) was a Mexican painter claimed by Breton as surrealist, though Kahlo herself rejected the label.
  • Greta Knutson (1899-1983) was a Swedish artist and writer who pursued surrealism while married to Tristan Tzara in the 1930s.
  • Maruja Mallo (1902-1995) was a Spanish painter whose painting in the 1930s was influenced by Surrealism.
  • Margaret Modlin (1927 – 1998) was an American surrealist painter, sculptor and photographer who spent most of her adult life in Spain.
  • Manon Potvin (1968 – ) is a French/Canadian artist and prose poet. Surrealist painter of fantastic art in nature scenes.
  • Alice Rahon (1904–1987) was a French/Mexican poet and artist. Her work contributed to the beginning of Abstract Expressionism in Mexico.
  • Kay Sage (1898–1963) began painting surrealist landscapes in the late 1930s, met and married fellow surrealist Yves Tanguy in 1940.
  • Eva Švankmajerová (1940-2005) was a Czech painter, ceramicist and writer. She collaborated with her husband Jan Švankmajer on films such as Alice, Faust and Conspirators of Pleasure.
  • Dorothea Tanning (1910–2012) was an American painter, sculptor, printmaker, writer, and poet, whose early work was influenced by Surrealism. She became part of the circle of Surrealists in New York in the 1940s, and was married to fellow Surrealist Max Ernst for 30 years.
  • Bridget Bate Tichenor (1917–1990), Born in Paris and of British descent, she later embraced Mexico as her home. Surrealist painter of fantastic art in the school of magic realism and a fashion editor.
  • Toyen (1902–1980), was a Czech painter, draftsperson and illustrator and a member of the Surrealist movement.
  • Remedios Varo (1908–1963), a Spaniard who moved to Mexico, was known for her dreamlike paintings of scientific apparatus. She was married to the Surrealist poet Benjamin Peret.
  • Fanny Brennan (1921-2001) was a French-American surrealist painter. Born in France, Brennan grew up in the world of art spending time with Gerald and Sara Murphy and Pablo Picasso. She was featured in two shows in 1941 in the Wakefield Bookshop gallery. As well as she had three solo exhibits in 1973 and a book published of her work in 1990.
  • Sculptors

  • Elisa Breton (1906-2000) was a Chilean-born French artist and writer. The third wife of André Breton, she made surrealist boxes.
  • Méret Oppenheim (1913–1985) was a German-Swiss sculptor and photographer, also famous as one of Man Ray's models. Her most famous sculpture is Object (Breakfast in Fur), a teacup, saucer and spoon completely encased in soft brown fur.
  • Mimi Parent (1924-2005) was a Canadian artist described by Breton as one of the "vital forces" of Surrealism. Her 'picture objects' were hybrids between painting and sculpture.
  • Photographers

  • Claude Cahun (1894–1954) was a French photographer and writer, associated with the surrealist movement.
  • Nusch Éluard (1906-1946) was a French photographer, performer and model.
  • Henriette Grindat (1923–1986) was one of the few Swiss women to develop an interest in artistic photography, associating with André Breton and later collaborating with Albert Camus.
  • Ida Kar (1908-1974) was a Russian-born photographer who lived and worked in Paris, Cairo and London.
  • Dora Maar (1907–1997) was a Croatian-born French photographer who had a nine-year relationship with Pablo Picasso.
  • Emila Medková (1928–1985) was a Czech photographer who began producing surrealistic works in 1947, above all remarkable documentary images of the urban environment.
  • Lee Miller (1907–1977) was an American photographer, photojournalist and model.
  • Francesca Woodman (1958–1981) was an American photographer who explored the relationship between the body and its surroundings.
  • Filmmakers

  • Germaine Dulac (1882-1942) was a French filmmaker, who directed The Seashell and the Clergyman in 1928.
  • Nelly Kaplan (born 1931) is an Argentine-born French "neo-surrealist" filmmaker and writer.
  • Fashion designers

  • Elsa Schiaparelli (1890–1973) was an Italian fashion designer, a colleague of, friend of, and collaborator with Salvador Dalí and Leonor Fini, among others.
  • Writers

  • Aase Berg (born 1967) is a Swedish poet and critic, among the founding members of the Stockholm Surrealist Group in 1986.
  • Lise Deharme (1898-1980) was a French writer associated with the Surrealist movement.
  • Joyce Mansour (1928-1986) was an Egyptian-French poet. She first encountered Surrealism in Cairo, but moved to Paris in 1953.
  • Olga Orozco (1920-1999) was an Argentine poet of the Surrealistic 'Tercera Vanguardia' generation.
  • Alejandra Pizarnik (1936-1972) was an Argentine poet heavily influenced by Surrealism.
  • Valentine Penrose (1898-1978) was a French surrealist poet, author and collagist.
  • Gisèle Prassinos (1920-2015) was a French writer of Greek heritage, associated with Surrealism since her first publication at the age of 14.
  • Penelope Rosemont (born 1942) is an American writer, painter, photographer, collagist and cofounder of the Chicago Surrealist Group. Her edited anthology Surrealist Women demonstrated the breadth of women's contribution to surrealism.
  • Ginka Steinwachs (born 1942) is a German scholar and writer. Her doctoral thesis on André Breton was published as Mythologie des Surrealismus.
  • Blanca Varela (1926-2009) was a Peruvian poet. Octavio Paz characterized her poetry as in the "spiritual lineage" of surrealism.
  • Haifa Zangana (born 1950) is an Iraqi writer active in surrealist activity in London.
  • Unica Zürn (1916-1970) was a German writer and artist. She wrote anagram poetry, exhibited automatic drawing and collaborated with Hans Bellmer as his photographic model.
  • Others

  • Sheila Legge (1911-1949) was a Surrealist performance artist, best known for her 1936 Trafalgar Square performance for the opening of London International Surrealist Exhibition, posing in an ensemble inspired by a Salvador Dalí painting, with her head completely obscured by a flower arrangement.
  • References

    Women Surrealists Wikipedia

    Similar Topics
    Ellam Avan Seyal
    John Bunzow
    Robert D Mullins