About this work
Oil on canvas
51 3/16 x 38 3/16 in.
In her own words...
Simon Morley: So do you think there have been any second and third generation Surrealists of any worth? Someone like Oldenburg or Rauschenberg, would you say they are Surrealists?
Well I feel that they are, but in fact they are more like Dada. Dada is more revolt, destruction; whereas Surrealism is supposed to build.
S.M.: Did it?
Well, I don't know whether I can answer that question. I think it did. I certainly think it did. It 's a very subtle influence that it had, but it certainly has had an influence….I think Surrealism is all around us. I don't think that artists today could do what they are doing if it hadn't happened. Just as I wouldn't be doing what I'm doing. In that way we really are formed as a result of our times and I'm sure that the appearance in New York of this phenomenon was of lasting importance. It is still around us, and if you are going to ask me now if I'm still a Surrealist I would say to some extent I am — but I am not as feverish about it as I was. I can take it or leave it….
Good. People are liking it and that 's always nice — you can't work in a vacuum. Sooner or later you have to touch other humans.
There are certainly a lot of aspects that are still viable of course. Surrealism is inspired by elements other than materialism and that is what is very hard to find today. People don't give themselves a chance to find out anything else about themselves. They just want what's there, and quick.
S.M.: You have had a long life, a long career as an artist: You've known some extraordinary people. What do you think of the Art world now?
I sometimes wonder if people could have the sort or exciting life that I've had now because there was a certain innocence about it too. I think that it s very hard to find that kind of innocence around anywhere today. Everything is so cynical. Everything is so material. People do things for the wrong reasons. They don't do it for wide-eyed reasons.
–from interview with Simon Morley, "Dorothea Tanning: The Art in Being Surreal," Art Line International 4, no. 9 (1990), p. 43.