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Dorothéa Tanning

"My nerve may be roated into the tragic, but theit extremities have a constant laugh."


Notes of biography

Dorothea Tanning was born in 1912 in Galesburg (Illinois, United States). She first did artistic studies and stopped them when she settled down in New York in 1935. She creates advertising drawings. Dorothea Tanning has a real "revelation" while she discovers the exhibition « fantastic Art, Dada and surrealism » organized at the Moma in 1936. She is bound with the surrealists exiled in the United States during the Second World War and becomes the partner of Max Ernst in 1942, then his wife in 1946.
In her surrealist works, the artist builds up herself « one somewhere else », draws signs, and tells « the story of her dreams ». Her first personal exhibition is organized in 1944. She paints spaces, portraits, bodies, the expression of her desires.
In the 40s, she will create decorations and suits for the ballets of Balanchine. In 1955, Dorothea Tanning begins the sculpture and will go on the work of sculpture at the same time as her pictorial work; she creates strange humanoids, half-beings, half-furniture, strange idols in tissue and fur which she wants « symbolism of the violence, the ferocity of the contacts ».
Dorothea Tanning will publish numerous poems (magazines, books). She settles down in Paris in 1953 and lives in the city during almost twenty eight years. Today, Dorothea Tanning lives and works in New York. She still organizes exhibitions of her work in collective demonstrations or personal ones. Her work is a part of the most prestigious museum collections, notably in France and in the United States.
The artist died in 2012.

Artists on display

The art and the artists display: proclamations, galleries, museums, personal or collective exhibitions. On walls or in shop windows, wise or rebels, posters warn, argue, show. Some were specially conceived by an artist for such or such event, other, colder, have only the letter.

Some were created in lithographic technic, most are simple offset reproductions. They are many those who like collecting these rectangles of paper, monochrome or in games of colours, in matt paper or brilliant, with many words or almost dumb.

We are happy also to be able to greet, by this pages, mythical galleries as those of Denise René, Louis Carré, Claude Bernard, Berheim Jeune, Maeght, Pierre Loeb and others.


Complete work(s)

Complete work(s)
All the complete works

Bibliographic track and more

To read about the artist :
  • « Dorothea Tanning », J. Arp, Galerie d'Art Moderne, Bâle, 1966
  • « La peinture de Dorothea Tanning », A. Bosquet, Pauvert, 1966
  • « Les sculptures tantriques de D. T. », R. de Sollier, in XXe Siècle 32, no. 35, dec. 1970
  • « Dorothea Tanning », Gilles Plazy, Ed. Filipacchi, Paris, 1976
  • « Dorothea Tanning », numéro spécial XXème siècle, 1977
  • « Women Artists and the Surrealist Mov. », W. Chadwick, Brown and Company, Boston, 1985
  • « D. Tanning: On Paper 1948-1986 », Donald Kuspit, cat., Kent Fine Art, NY, 1987
  • « Dorothea Tanning », J. C. Bailly et autres, Ed. George Braziller, NY, 1995
  • « Birthday and beyond », Ann Temkin, Ed. Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2000
  • « Between lives », Ed. Northwestern University Press, 2003
To read from the artist :
  • « Questions pour D. Tanning », A. Jouffroy, C. N. d'Art Contemporain, Paris, 1974
  • « Dorothea Tanning : la vie partagée », Ed. Christian Bourgois, Paris, 2002
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Art movements

+ SURREALISM / 1924-1969 / Marcel Duchamp, Dora Maar, Kurt Schwitters, Taro Okamoto, Antonio Berni, etc.
All art movements

See & discover

Beyond works currently in stock, it seemed to me useful to combine business with pleasure by letting you discover others works by artists in my gallery. These artworks, now sold or removed from our website, have been in our stock in the past.

These pages will undoubtedly make it possible for some of you to associate an image with its title or the other way round, for others it will be a good time to discover more on such and such artist. For the sake of confidentiality – the pieces being no longer available – we won't display neither their numbering or their price. For whatever reason, make sure to visit this amazing art database with to date 6441 online works just for your pleasure! Michelle Champetier

See & discover