About this work
Oil on canvas
45 3/4 x 35 in.
In her own words...
Simon Morley: Your painting seems to have gone through some great changes. Your early work was very precise and then suddenly it becomes more painterly, when and why did this happen?
Dorothea Tanning: I can't tell you exactly, but I think that it’s a normal evolution in someone's work: they find different ways of saying the same thing. One expresses one's own preoccupations but I think one does this in a very different way. Maybe I just became a better painter, at least that was what I was always striving to do. If I didn't paint in a very meticulous way afterwards maybe that was because I thought that that was not the best way. Too easy: it would have been like knitting or embroidery.
S.M.: The occult symbolism in your work: is it there because you believe, or because it is an available set of images?
D.T.: I was intrigued by it, still am, and during my youth I just read, read, read all this wild literature and this probably is what made me such a 'literary' painter. I was fascinated by things that I read — Gothic novels and what not. The occult is a wonderful subject.
–from interview with Simon Morley, "Dorothea Tanning: The Art in Being Surreal," Art Line International 4, no. 9 (1990), p. 43.