Claude Cahun: Beneath this Mask

23 Mar 2024 – 3 Aug 2024

Regular hours

10:30 – 16:00
10:00 – 16:00
10:30 – 16:00
10:30 – 16:00

Cost of entry

Included with gallery admission

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Abbot Hall

Kendal, United Kingdom

Event map

An investigation of identity and the confines of gender.


An exhibition of striking photographs exploring the complexities of gender and identity. 

The exhibition contains 42 contemporary giclee prints made from scans of Cahun’s original photographic self-portraits. Born Lucy Schwob, she adopted the pseudonym Claude Cahun in 1917 to free herself from the narrow confines of gender. Her work investigates themes of identity through multiple characters. Blurring and distorting her age, identity, gender and surroundings, the photographs can be read as anti-portraiture: while portraiture sets out to capture and commemorate an individual, Cahun’s photographs disrupt the idea of a single ‘self’.  

Largely unknown during her lifetime, Claude Cahun’s work has since received fame and has influenced the performative work of contemporary artists such as Cindy Sherman and Trish Morrissey.  

This Hayward Gallery Touring exhibition is in collaboration with Jersey Heritage and was first presented at the Women of the World Festival 2015, Southbank Centre. This exhibition was curated by Gilly Fox, Assistant Curator at Hayward Gallery Touring. 

What to expect? Toggle


Gilly Fox

Exhibiting artistsToggle

Claude Cauhn

Taking part


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