American Surrealist painter Dorothea Tanning, who was also a printmaker, sculptor, writer and set designer, was already pursuing her own dream-like compositions when she was introduced to the work of the European Surrealists at their 1936 exhibition in New York.
She then met and became lifelong companions with Max Ernst. Like Ernst, Tanning moved from the dream state explorations of the Surrealists into that shifting netherland between representational and non-representational art.
Her suggestions of recognizable forms draw you in, then drift into half-recognized shapes abstracted from something undefinable, providing fertile ground for the viewer to project their own interpreted content and meaning.
Tanning was prolific, even into her later years. She died on Wednesday, January 1, 2012, at the age of 101.
Her official website has an extensive collection of her work, though the images are unfortunately somewhat small and not of the highest quality.
I’ve listed some obits and other sources below.
Obit on Guardian
Obit on Boston Globe
Oldest living Surrealist tells all, article on Salon
Philadelphia Museum of Art (zoomable)
Bio on Wikipedia
4 Replies to “Dorothea Tanning, 1910-2012”
The world has lost a wonderful artist. She was living history and now lives on through history.
Terrible lost, she was a great artist. She will remembered forever, thank you for sharing us her art.
Can you imagine making art for that long? Wonderful.
Since I know you like to be accurate: The official website announces her death on January 31st.
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