Here some roses from a very different garden sit?, lie? stand?, gasp?, dream?, die?—on white linen. They may serve you tea or coffee. As I saw them take shape on the canvas I was amazed by their solemn colours and their quiet mystery that called for—seemed to demand—some sort of phantoms. So I tried to give them their phantoms and their still-lifeness. Did I succeed? Clearly they are not going to tell me, but the white linen gave me a good feeling as if I had folded it myself, then opened it on the table.
—from Dorothea Tanning: Birthday and Beyond. Exhibition brochure. Philadelphia: Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2000.
[The painting contains] an almost primitive, fundamental acceptance of a primarily sensorial world, one in which powerful supernatural forces inhabit the eerie landscapes of both the natural environment and in the recesses of the imagination, particularly the childhood imagination, where the extraordinary can exist unhampered by disbelief or logic.
—from an unpublished interview with Victoria Carruthers, 2005, quoted in her essay “Dorothea Tanning and Her Gothic Imagination,” Journal of Surrealism and the Americas 5, no. 1 (2011), p. 143.