In her own words...
Art has always been the raft onto which we climb to save our sanity. I don't see a different purpose for it now.
– Dorothea Tanning, 2002
New On View
As 2020 draws to a close, SFMoMA reflects on art works from the collection that speak to the moment in the online gallery "Staff Picks: Resonant Art for the Year of Shelter-in-Place," which includes the painting Self-Portait (1944).
"Alice: Curiouser and Curiouser" at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, will explore Lewis Carroll's classic text Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland from its origins through 157 years of adaptations and reinventions. This immersive and theatrical show is now scheduled to open March 27, 2021, and will include the painting Eine Kleine Nachtmusik (1943).
"Surrealism and Magic: Enchanted Modernity" will open at the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice on May 8, running through September 13, 2021, after which it will travel to Museum Barberini, Potsdam. With paintings such as The Magic Flower Game (1941), the exhibition will explore the inspiration that many artists of the Surrealist movement drew from the symbolism of magic and the occult.
“Dorothea Tanning: Printmaker” at Farleys House & Gallery, the historic home of Lee Miller and Roland Penrose in Muddles Green, East Sussex, has been postponed until Summer 2021. The exhibition will focus on the artist's graphic works, presented in a setting she knew well from numerous visits to see her friends the Penroses. Among the works will be the etching Nue Couchée (Reclining Nude) (1965).
New In Print
Craig Teicher writes of his personal experience with the artist and "The Later Work of Dorothea Tanning" for "The Daily" blog of The Paris Review.
Claire-Louise Bennett's Fish Out of Water is published by Juxta Press as one of its Words for Portraits series of essays and short stories by English- and Italian-language authors based a portrait of their choice. Drawing inspiration from the painting Self-Portrait (1944), the book is a meditation on the affinity the author finds with the artist in her life and work. The author can be heard speaking about the book in an interview What the Hell/Heaven Are We Doing? – Claire-Louise Bennett.
Victoria Carruthers has published Dorothea Tanning: Transformations, released by Lund Humphries. A definitive study of the artist's life and career, this monograph provides a framework within which to consider the range and depth of Tanning's work and thematic preoccupations. The book is extensively illustrated and features previously unpublished material from interviews which the author conducted with the artist between 2000 and 2009. The author discusses the book in an interview found here.
Catriona McAra will have a chapter in the upcoming Surrealist Women’s Writing: A Critical Exploration, edited by Anna Watz (Manchester University Press, 2021, pp. 210-224). In "Open Sesame: Dorothea Tanning’s Critical Writing," Dr. McAra examine Tanning's nonfiction writing within the context of both her broader literary and visual arts œuvre.
Max Ernst – D-paintings – Zeitreise der Liebe, an exhibition catalogue published by the Max Ernst Museum Brühl, celebrates a set of paintings created by Ernst from the time he first met Dorothea Tanning in 1942 until his death in 1976. Every year Ernst gave Tanning a work for her birthday, almost always hiding the letter D for Dorothea. Dr. Jürgen Pech examines all 36 "D-paintings" together with important contemporaneous works by Tanning and numerous photographs, letters, and other documents in a fully illustrated double biography that portrays their extraordinary love story.
In her own voice...
Dorothea Tanning: Insomia – a short film made in 1978 by the German director Peter Schamoni – offers the opportunity to hear the artist's observations about her life and work and to see her in her home and studio in Seillans, France. The film can be viewed on Vimeo, courtesy of the Schamoni Film & Media Archive in Munich.
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.