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 


“The Irrational and the Marvelous,” at the Des Moines Art Center is on view through March 25, 2018 and includes the drawing L'Auberge (1949).

"Bonjour/Au Revoir Surrealisme," is on view at the Louisiana State University Museums of Art, Baton Rouge, through March 25, 2018.  The exhibition celebrates the collaboration of George Visat, master printmaker and publisher of artists' books, with the Surrealists in mid-20th-century Paris.  The exhibition features prints from the portfolio En chair et en or (In Flesh and Gold) (1973), such as C’est au soleil (It's in Sunshine).

“Virginia Woolf: An Exhibition Inspired by Her Writings” will open at Tate St. Ives February 9, 2018 and run 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.  This exhibition will explore feminist perspectives on landscape, domesticity and identity in modern and contemporary art through the lens of Woolf's writings.   It will include the painting Agripedium vorax Saccherii (Clog Herb) (1997).

“Hidden Narratives: Recent Acquisitions of Postwar Art” will open at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art on February 17, 2018 and run 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)