Unless you’ve been living under a rock somewhere, you already know about the spectacular Dorothea Tanning exhibition at Tate Modern. But here are a couple of other Surrealist shows in the UK this summer that might have slipped under your radar.

Painting by Reuben Mednikoff

Right now, Camden Arts Centre is hosting A Tale Of Mother’s Bones: Grace Pailthorpe, Reuben Mednikoff And The Birth Of Psychorealism. Pailthorpe and Mednikoff, who lived and worked together for most of their lives, were members of the English Surrealist group during the late 1930s and participated in the famous London exhibition of 1936. Their enthusiasm for psychoanalysis eventually led to their expulsion, on the grounds that they subordinated Surrealism to therapy. But their works continued nevertheless to exert more power and poetry than any therapy could ever contain.

A Tale Of Mother’s Bones brings together more than 80 pieces, alongside the couple’s own psychoanalytic interpretations of them. The show runs until 23 June at Camden Arts Centre, Arkwright Road, London NW3 6DG, open Tuesday – Sunday 10am – 6pm (late opening till 9pm on Wednesdays). Free entry.

Exhibition flier

Next up – and even more exciting, since it’s real live Surrealism in the here and now – Leeds Surrealist Group’s Encounters Under Black Lamplight is open from 15 June to 7 September at Inkwell Arts, Potternewton Lane, Leeds LS7 3LW.

The Leeds group are the longest-running Surrealist group in the UK’s history; this show celebrates their 25th anniversary. Most of their activities are deliberately hidden from public view, so it’s a rare chance to see them in action. It also coincides with the latest issue of their journal, Phosphor.


Take a peek behind the veil.

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Reuben Mednikoff’s September 21, 1941 published on Camden Arts Centre website courtesy of James Birch, and reproduced here under fair use.

Encounters Under Black Lamplight flier courtesy of Leeds Surrealist Group.

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