Sir Roland Penrose

My Windows Look Sideways

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About this artwork

This type of word-picture was almost certainly inspired by the work of the surrealist artist Joan Miró, who explored language in his paintings of the mid-1920s. Surrealism was as much a literary movement as a visual one with writers and poets abandoning the rules of language in favour of ambiguity and uncertainty. This corresponded to artists, such as Miró, who juxtaposed text with fragmented imagery in a dream-like fashion. The combination of the two meant that the words and images became equal partners, joint in their aim to elude interpretation. Here, Penrose, who was one of the central figures of the British Surrealist group, has combined a jumbled, ambiguous statement with fantastical imagery of an eyeball, a star and figures in panes of glass to create a bizarre and perplexing image.

see media
  • title:
    My Windows Look Sideways
  • accession number:
    GMA 3911
  • artist:
  • gallery:
  • object type:
  • subject:
  • glossary:
  • materials:
    Oil on canvas
  • date created:
    1939
  • measurements:
    30.50 x 51.00 cm
  • credit line:
    Presented by Mr Antony Penrose 1995
  • copyright:
    © Roland Penrose Estate, England 2016. The Penrose Collection. All rights reserved.
  • photographer:
    Antonia Reeve

Sir Roland Penrose

Sir Roland Penrose