Sandra Higgins, in collaboration with Bolans Architecture, is delighted to present the first London retrospective of the avant-garde artist Agathe Sorel. Born in Hungary in 1935, Sorel fled the country after the anti-Soviet revolution and settled England. In 1956 she enrolled at the Camberwell School of Art and later won the Gulbenkian scholarship to study printmaking with S.W. Hayter at the Atelier 17 in Paris. Hayter collaborated with some of the most important artists of the 20th Century – including Marc Chagall, Max Ernst, Alberto Giacometti, Juan Miro and Jackson Pollock– and his mentoring and influence was crucial in development of Sorel’s artistic career.
After winning a fellowship in 1966 to travel to Mexico and the United States, Sorel became interested in the possibilities of working with transparent materials, following on experiments by Naum Gabo and Lászlo Moholy-Nagy.The use of Perspex allowed her to combine the properties of line engraving with three dimensional form. Since then, Sorel has tirelessly and inventively explored this medium, creating a large body of sculptures of various sizes – which she named “space engravings”– that replace sculptural mass with transparent open volumes and whose translucency absorbs and reflects natural light like yet another material.
Sandra Higgins has curated a retrospective that will encompass the 50-year body of work of Agatha Sorel, focusing on her prints, paintings and sculptures and teasing out the affinities between these media and their stylistic evolution. The exhibition will take place in Sorel’s studio in Forest Hill, offering visitors the unique opportunity to enjoy Sorel’s works in the space where she created many of them.