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

The Museum of Modern Art in New York presents the "2021 Fall Reveal" of its permanent collection, featuring the recently acquired painting Notes for an Apocalypse (1978) in a gallery exploring the theme of "Body on the Line" in works by women artists from the late 1960s to the early 1980s.



The Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art has just opened its permanent collection installation "New Arrivals: From Salvador Dalí to Jenny Saville" with the painting Tableau vivant (Living Picture) (1954) and the sculpture Primitive Seating (1982) in the Surrealism room.


The Museo Reina Sofia has also reimagined its permanent collection galleries in "Communicating Vessels: Collection 1881-2021."  A section devoted to "Double Exhibition: Art and Cold War" includes the suite of seven lithographs Les 7 Perils Spectraux (1950), the sculpture Étreinte (1969), and the collage Hotel (1988).


"Surrealism Beyond Borders" is on view at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York through January 30, 2022, after which it will travel to Tate Modern in London. The exhibition explores the expanisve international and chronological scope of the Surrealist movement, and includes the painting Eine Kleine Nachtmusik (1943).


“Surrealistic Creatures” at the Max Ernst Museum Brühl is devoted to a fantastical world of animals and imagined creatures.  On view through February 6, 2022, the exhibition comprises works by 70 international artists in all media from the birth of Surrealism throughout the 20th century, including the paintings La Chienne et sa muse (The Dog and Her Muse) (1964) and Pour Gustave l'adoré (1974).


Kasmin Gallery in New York announces "Surrealist Collaboration: Poetry, Art, Literature, Ingenuity and Life Itself," a group exhibition curated in collaboration with Timothy Baum that will be on view at 297 Tenth Avenue from January 20 through February 26, 2022.  With a strong focus on the Surrealist game of cadavre exquis, the show will examine the diverse collaborations between Surrealist artists, and will include the 1945 collage Chess Tournament at Julien Levy Gallery, January 6, 1945.


“Supernatural America: The Paranormal in American Art” is open at the Speed Art Museum in Louisville, Kentucky through January 2, 2022. With works such as Guardian Angels (1946) the show takes a broad inter-disciplinary, multicultural, and multimedia view of the supernatural and paranormal in artists' work from the early 19th century through the present. After Louisville, it will be on view at the Minneapolis Institute of Art, which organized the exhibition.


"Surrealism and Magic: Enchanted Modernity," is on view at Museum Barberini in Potsdam through January 29, 2022. With paintings such as The Magic Flower Game (1941), the exhibition explores the inspiration that many artists of the Surrealist movement drew from the symbolism of magic and the occult.


"Fantasy Figures: Surrealist Works on Paper from the Art Center’s Collection" is on view at the Des Moines Art Center through March 20, 2022.  This exhibition explores transformational visions of the human body in drawings, collages, and prints dating mainly from the 1930s to the 1960s, and includes the works L'Auberge (1949) and Drawing for Musical Chairs (1949).


“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 2022. 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

Catriona McAra has published a chapter in 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.


Adrian Dannatt has published Doomed and Famous: Selected Obituaries through Sequence Press (2021).  The collection includes his piece "Grande Dame in Eternal Exile: Dorothea Tanning (1910-2012)" that appeared on (February 16, 2012).  


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.


The editors of ARTnews have chosen Dorothea Tanning's memoir Between Lives: An Artist and Her World (W.W. Norton, New York, 2001) among "Essential Books: 12 Illuminating Artist’s Memoirs."


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.


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.


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.


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 here, courtesy of the Schamoni Film & Media Archive in Munich.




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)