In her own words...
I do recall I had a dream about doors a long time ago, and those doors appeared in many canvases afterward. It was a horrible dream. I opened it and it was another door right behind it.
And 'Door 84'? By this time, the door is the victim. Both people are pushing at that door. It's being pushed by both sides. Maybe it never should open.
—from interview with Cate McQuaid, “Dorothea Tanning Paints Again, and Speaks for Herself,” The Boston Sunday Globe, April 4, 1999, p. N6.