In her own words...

Women artists. There is no such thing – or person. It’s just as much a contradiction in terms as "man artist" or "elephant artist." You may be a woman and you may be an artist; but the one is a given and the other is you.
                                  – Dorothea Tanning, 1990 


"Virginia Woolf: An Exhibition Inspired by Her Writings" is on view at Tate St. Ives through April 29, 2018, after which it will travel to Pallant House, Sussex, May 26 - September 16, and The Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, October 2 - December 9, 2018.  The painting Agripedium vorax Saccherii (Clog Herb) (1997) is among the works in an exhibition considering feminist perspectives on landscape, domesticity, and identity in modern and contemporary art through the lens of Woolf's writings.   

"Nick Mauss: Transmissions" is on view through May 14, 2018 at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York.  The exhibition explores the history of American modernist ballet and new representations of the body through a combination of contemporary works by Mauss and historical works from the 1930s and 1940s in ballet design, the visual arts, theater, and fashion.  It includes a suite of costume designs for George Balanchine's ballet The Night Shadow (1945) and the monumental painting Aux environs de Paris (1962) in the museum's collection. 

(Photo by Angelica Frey/Hyperallergic)

"Like Life: Sculpture, Color, and the Body (1300–Now)," at The Met Breuer, New York, examines 700 years of sculptural practice through a selection of works from 14th-century Europe to the present day, including Emma (1970). The exhibition runs through July 22, 2018. 

"Modern Times: American Art 1910-1950," will open on April 18, 2018 at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and will be on view through September 3, 2018.  Drawn largely from the Museum's permanent collection, this exhibition includes the painting Birthday (1942).

"Couples Modernes," Centre Pompidou-Metz will be open April 26 - August 20, 2018, after which the show will travel as "Modern Couples: Art, Intimacy and the Avant-garde" to the Barbican Art Gallery, London, October 10, 2018 - January 27, 2019.  The exhibition features A Very Happy Picture (1947).

"A Home for Surrealism," at the Arts Club of Chicago June 7 - August 18, 2018, will feature several early paintings including Guardian Angels (1946).

"Dorothea Tanning," a major survey of the artist's career, is being organized by the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid (October 2, 2018 - January 7, 2019), and Tate Modern, London (February 26 - June 9, 2019).  A full catalogue will be published in Spanish and English.  The exhibition will feature the painting Woman Artist, Nude, Standing (1985-87).

"Hidden Narratives: Recent Acquisitions of Postwar Art" at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art is on view through January 6, 2019, featuring the sculpture Xmas (1969).




Catriona McAra has 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 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 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).

Phaidon Press has 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)