About this work

Cover for the brochure for the exhibition "Dorothea Tanning," Julien Levy Gallery, New York, 1944

Ink on paper

The following statement by Max Ernst was published in the exhibition brochure:

I like the work of Dorothea Tanning because the domain of the marvelous is her native country; because in her audacious enterprise to paint an intimate and dramatized biography of the universe, the tumults of the child's soul, the mysteries of love and the whole monstrosity which envelopes the age of reason, she finds her new, spontaneous and persuasive means of figuration. I admire her courage in taking a precise and difficult position amid the general confusion of ideas which characterizes the artistic situation of our time. She recognizes the inadequacy of academic exercises to which masses of so-called artists devote themselves in the too-comfortable monasteries of the abstract, with its easy and vague nebulae. And. she refuses to take the vow of obedience to the exigencies of an orthodox surrealism.

Precision is her mystery. Thus she acquired the faculty of leading us with the surety of the somnambulist through the real world as well as through the imagined world. Because in her work the flames of the earth burn with a quiet, continuous and smiling passion, one can give to it a dominant place among the most authentic, most unfettered expressions of surrealism.