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.


Dorothea Tanning's installation piece Hôtel du Pavot, Chambre 202 (Poppy Hotel, Room 202) (1970-73) is on view in the exhibition "An Imagined Museum. Works from the Centre Pompidou, the Tate and the MMK" at the Centre Pompidou-Metz, through March 27, 2017.

In "The Conjured Life: The Legacy of Surrealism," The Cantor Arts Center at Stanford University traces the movement's history and continuing influence. On view through April 3, 2017, the exhibition includes the painting Nue endormie (Sleeping Nude) (1954).

"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 Eine Kleine Nachtmsuik (1943), which was once in the collection of Roland Penrose.

"Disobedient Bodies: J.W. Anderson at the Hepworth Wakefield," will be on view at the Hepworth Wakefield Gallery, London, March 18 - June 18, 2017. For this exhibition, the fashion designer Jonathan Anderson, will present sculptures together with fashion pieces and objects of craft and design to explore artistic visions of the human form.


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)