Dorothea Tanning

American, 1910–2012

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Dorothea Tanning

American, 1910–2012

1,895
Followers
Biography

An active artist for nearly 70 years, Dorothea Tanning began her career as a Surrealist, later moving away from the movement to create the raw and prismatic merging of color planes she called “Insomnias”. Tanning’s earlier works, like Fatala (1947), are heavily representational, favoring strong line, shading, and linear perspective. In the 1950s, she began to reveal new overriding preoccupations with luminous color and energy, as in Midi et demi (Half past noon) (1957), a quietly energetic composition with only the vaguest hints of figures. Tanning, who was influenced by Marcel Duchamp, Man Ray, and Max Ernst, to whom she was married, turned increasingly to experimental styles as her career progressed, such as soft cloth sculpture and installation, fusing the two for one of her first installation pieces, “Hotel de Pavot 202” (1971), without fully abandoning a surrealistic aesthetic. Late in her career she worked as a poet and memoirist.

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Career Highlights
Learn more about artist insights.
User
Solo show at a major institution
Tate Modern
Group
Group show at a major institution
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 2 more
Institution
Collected by a major institution
Tate, and 2 more
Publication
Reviewed by a major art publication
Artforum, and 3 more
Fair
Included in a major biennial
Venice Biennale International Exhibition, and 1 more
Biography

An active artist for nearly 70 years, Dorothea Tanning began her career as a Surrealist, later moving away from the movement to create the raw and prismatic merging of color planes she called “Insomnias”. Tanning’s earlier works, like Fatala (1947), are heavily representational, favoring strong line, shading, and linear perspective. In the 1950s, she began to reveal new overriding preoccupations with luminous color and energy, as in Midi et demi (Half past noon) (1957), a quietly energetic composition with only the vaguest hints of figures. Tanning, who was influenced by Marcel Duchamp, Man Ray, and Max Ernst, to whom she was married, turned increasingly to experimental styles as her career progressed, such as soft cloth sculpture and installation, fusing the two for one of her first installation pieces, “Hotel de Pavot 202” (1971), without fully abandoning a surrealistic aesthetic. Late in her career she worked as a poet and memoirist.

Career Highlights
Learn more about artist insights.
User
Solo show at a major institution
Tate Modern
Group
Group show at a major institution
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 2 more
Institution
Collected by a major institution
Tate, and 2 more
Publication
Reviewed by a major art publication
Artforum, and 3 more
Fair
Included in a major biennial
Venice Biennale International Exhibition, and 1 more
Shows Featuring Dorothea Tanning
Articles Featuring Dorothea Tanning
The Artist Who Embraced the Occult and Defied the Surrealists
Oct 11th, 2019
The Romantic Gestures of 7 Famous Artist Couples
Apr 17th, 2019
Why Dorothea Tanning’s Powerful Surrealist Art Defied Convention
Mar 14th, 2019
The Market for Female Surrealists Has Finally Reached a Tipping Point
Sep 26th, 2018
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