Grace Pailthorpe – Chance Encounters in Colour

About this exhibition

Grace W. Pailthorpe (29.07.1883 – 19.07.1971) was a British surrealist painter, surgeon and psychoanalyst from South East England. She graduated as a doctor in 1914, receiving her degree from Durham University. During World War I, Pailthorpe served as a distinguished surgeon at military hospitals in Liverpool, London and Paris.

After extensive travel, Pailthorpe began studying psychological medicine, becoming a member of the British Psychoanalytic Society in 1923. In 1935, she met the artist Reuben Mednikoff who became her lifelong partner. This partnership, formed the catalyst for her research into the psychology of art. Pailthorpe exhibited work in the International Surrealist Exhibition held in London in 1936. She also contributed to many other surrealist exhibitions and publications, including the London Bulletin.

Pailthorpe believed that surrealism and psychoanalysis formed the pathway towards personal freedom and healing through artistic creativity and liberated expression. She performed pioneering Art Therapy at the Portman Clinic and in her Sussex home from the 1950’s on. The vibrant watercolours included in Pailthorpe’s exhibition at Farleys, will provide an opportunity to further discover this ground breaking artist’s journeys into the mystical, the occult and the inner workings of the mind, through her spontaneous mark making in fantastic colour.

Image: Grace Pailthorpe, Watercolour on paper, December 8, 1968. Shown courtesy of Paul Conran.