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 


"A Home for Surrealism" is on view at the Arts Club of Chicago through August 18, 2018, featuring several early paintings including Guardian Angels (1946).

"Couples Modernes" is on view at Centre Pompidou-Metz through 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 several paintings from the 1940s, including A Very Happy Picture (1947).

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

"Virginia Woolf: An Exhibition Inspired by Her Writings" is on view at Pallant House, Sussex through September 16, followed by 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.

"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)