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? 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?
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.