Demeter (after Eileen Agar)

Lucy Stein

oil on canvas

2019
  • About the work
    Location
    Country: Other
    City: in conservation
    Working across painting, installation, performance, and curation, Lucy Stein explores issues of contemporary witchcraft and goddess culture, weaving in elements of heraldry from the Middle Ages to create challenging matriarchal spaces underpinned by her longstanding interest in Celticity. Since moving to Cornwall in 2015, having previously lived in Berlin and Ireland, her painterly explorations are mirrored in her engagement with the area’s history and ritual-laden landscapes, particularly the sacred sites in the Penwith district.
    Demeter (after Eileen Agar) is pivotal in her ‘research into the thriving goddess culture [...] in Penwith and particularly how that intersects with British modernism’. As referenced in the title, the composition borrows from the surrealist Eileen Agar’s painting of the goddess Demeter (1949). Stein has reflected that, more personally:
    Demeter has been a figurehead for negotiating motherhood and making art for the last few years. The sense of loss and depression and closeness to things falling apart is vital, as well as the sense of renewal, rebirth and hope.
  • About the artist
    Born in Oxford, Lucy Stein lives and works in Cornwall. She studied painting at The Glasgow School of Art (BA, 2001–4) and De Ateliers, Amsterdam (2004–6). Her first solo exhibition was at Gimpel Fils, London (2005) and she has exhibited internationally with selected solo exhibitions at Stedelijk Museum Bureau Amsterdam (2006); Galerie Martin Van Zomeren, Amsterdam (2012); Palette Terre, Paris (2018); and Spike Island, Bristol (2021).
  • Explore
    Places
    Subjects
    woman, goddess, Demeter
    Materials & Techniques
    canvas, paint, oil, oil painting
  • Details
    Artist
    Lucy Stein
    Title
    Demeter (after Eileen Agar)
    Date
    2019
    Medium
    oil on canvas
    Dimensions
    height: 140.0 cm; width: 120.0 cm
    Acquisition
    Purchased from the artist March 2021, through the Art XUK project 2020-21
    Provenance
    The artist's studio via Galerie Gregor Staiger; from whom purchased by UK Government Art Collection, 19 March 2021
    GAC number
    18930