Hagenberg: You like to see your paintings as magic traps for the viewer with no exits. What puts you into a magic mood?
Tanning: It's enough to walk into the studio surrounded by things that have nothing to do with the outside world. Here you are a cocoon. Moods change constantly in your life. In the forties I was in a kind of gothic mood. The mood of longing for a displacement, of another time, another place. I had read gothic novels at that time. They were permeated with this mist of mysterious and unpredictable atmospheres of places that I didn't know about....
Hagenberg: The gothic mood helped you to break through the barriers that landscape and abstract art presented to you. You said you need the human figure in your painting otherwise you would not be able to express yourself.
Tanning: Everything I did had at least a suggestion of a human element in it.
—from interview with Roland Hagenberg, "Dorothea Tanning," Art of Russia and the West, No. 1 (March 1989), p. 31.