Dorothea Tanning, ‘Birthday (Self Portrait at age 30, 1942)’, circa 1970, Heritage Auctions

Dimensions: 22-1/2 x 14-1/4 inches (image) 29 x 21 inches (sheet)

Signature: Signed and numbered in pencil in lower margin

Image rights: Courtesy of Heritage Auctions

About Dorothea Tanning

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.

American, 1910-2012, Galesburg, Illinois, based in New York & Paris

Group Shows

Des Moines Art Center, 
Des Moines, IA, USA,