In her own words...

Art has always been the raft onto which we climb to save our sanity.
                                    – Dorothea Tanning, 2002


We are very pleased to announce the establishment of the Dorothea Tanning Award as part of the Grants to Artists Program of the Foundation for Contemporary Arts. This annual award will provide an unrestricted grant of $40,000 to an artist whose work shares the spirit of independence and imagination that characterizes Dorothea Tanning's own career. The inaugural award will be given to the poet Liz Waldner. For more information about Liz Waldner, the Dorothea Tanning Award, and FCA's Grants to Artists program, please visit FCA's website.


"Mad About Surrealism," an exhibition drawn from works in the collections of Roland Penrose, Edward James, Gabrielle Keiller, and Ulla and Heiner Pietzsch, is on view at the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam through May 28, 2017. The show features the painting Voltage (1942), which was once in the collection of Gabrielle Keiller.

"Dorothea Tanning: Night Shadows​" will be on view at Alison Jacques Gallery, London, from June 2 through June 24, 2017.  The exhibition will feature the artist's designs for ballet costumes and sets from the mide 1940s-1950s, including A Guest, a costume design for The Night Shadow, a ballet by George Balanchine.

"Disobedient Bodies: J.W. Anderson at the Hepworth Wakefield," is on view at the Hepworth Wakefield Gallery, London, through June 18, 2017. For this exhibition, the fashion designer Jonathan Anderson, presents sculptures together with fashion pieces and objects of craft and design to explore artistic visions of the human form.  The show features the sculpture Nue couchée (Reclining Nude) (1969-70).

"The Beguiling Siren is Thy Crest" is on view at the Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw through June 18, 2017.  The exhibition explores the cultural connotations and artistic interpretations of the city's symbol from throughout the 20th century to the present, and includes the paintings Un tissu de songes (Web of Dreams) (1973-93) and Thoughtful Group (1978)

Dorothea Tanning's installation piece Hôtel du Pavot, Chambre 202 (Poppy Hotel, Room 202) (1970-73) is the inspiration for "SoixanteDixSept, Hôtel du Pavot …" at frac île-de-france, le château in Paris through July 16, 2017 in one of three exhibitions celebrating the 40th anniversary of the opening of the Centre Pompidou.

"We Are Completely Free: Women Artists and Surrealism," at Museo Picasso Málaga, will open October 10, 2017 and run through January 28, 2018, featuring the painting Eine Kleine Nachtmusik (1943).



Catriona McAra has just published a monograph entitled A Surrealist Stratigraphy of Dorothea Tanning's Chasm (London: Routledge, 2017). As part of Routledge's "Studies in Surrealism" series, the book explores the artist's literary and visual work within a framework of cultural and feminist theory.

Dr. McAra has also recently published the essay "Emma's Navel: Dorothea Tanning's Narrative Sculpture" in Intersections: Women Artists/
(Patricia Allmer, ed., Manchester University Press, 2016, pp. 91-111). The title refers to the sculpture Emma, 1970.

Sienna Freeman has just published “Pulled, Stitched, and Stuffed: Materiality and the Abject in Dorothea Tanning’s Soft Sculpture” in Sightlines, the journal of the Department of Visual and Critical Studies of California College of the Arts (2016, pp. 17-29). The essay focuses on the installation piece Hôtel du Pavot, Chambre 202 (Poppy Hotel, Room 202) (1970-73).

The Spring 2016 issue of A Public Space includes a portfolio of Dorothea Tanning's writings entitled "Dreams of A Year." This selection focuses on the period c. 1947, when she was living in Sedona, Arizona, and includes the short story "Dream It Or Leave It" (an English translation of "Rêvez-le ou ne le lisez pas" that was first published in French in 1947), journal notes, and letters to artists Muriel Streeter and Joseph Cornell.

Phaidon Press has just published Art Is the Highest Form of Hope & Other Quotes by Artists (2016), a compilation that includes these words of Dorothea Tanning: “Art has always been the raft onto which we climb to save our sanity.”


Ongoing Projects

We are looking for information about a number of paintings in the effort to fully document Dorothea Tanning's work for a catalogue raisonné. If you have seen any of these paintings, please contact us.

Concerning Wishes (1942)

Le Petit Marquis (1947)

Angel in Mauve and Orange (Study for Anges gardiens) (1947)

Les Infatigables (The Indefatigables) (1965)