The Anatomy of Space

REUBEN MEDNIKOFF (1906-1976) Biography
SURREALISM (founded c.1924) Biography

The Anatomy of Space (England, 1936)

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Oil on canvas
Signed and inscribed on the stretcher R.Mednikoff, 7 Arundel Road, Dorking, Surrey; inscribed (verso) began / 21st Jan 1936, inscribed with the title on a label on the stretcher


110.50cm high
85.00cm wide
(43.50 inches high)
(33.46 inches wide)
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Exhibition History

Colchester, The Minories and Hull, Ferens Art Gallery, A Salute to British Surrealism 1930-1950, 1985, catalogue number 51
Finland, Retretti Arts Centre, Surrealism, 1986, illustrated number 90 page 58
Milan, Palazzo Reale, I Surrealisti, May- September 1989
Leeds Museums and Galleries, Sluice Gates of the Mind, 15th January-8th March 1998, cat. 71, page 60
Aldeburgh Festival Exhibition, Peter Pears Gallery, 9 -24 June 2006, catalogue number 10

Description / Expertise

Reuben Mednikoff met the Freudian psychoanalyst Dr. Grace Pailthorpe early in 1935. Despite their twenty-five year age gap they each became the single most important influence on the other's work. Living together in Port Isaac in Cornwall, they conducted experiments in psychoanalysis, delving into the far reaches of the subconcious.

`Delving into the far reaches of the subconcious' came to be termed under the surrealist banner although they refused to totally commit themselves to the movement. In 1940, E.L.T. Mesens, the champion of British Surrealism, asked them to agree that they would only exhibit and associate themselves with the group. They decided to disassociate themselves altogether from any movement or organization.

The Anatomy of Space was painted in 1936, the same year that Mednikoff exhibited in the famous International Surrealist Exhibition in London and at The Fantastic Art, Dada, Surrealism exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.