Dorothea Tanning (1910 – 2012) Birthday, 1942


27 FEBRUARY – 9 JUNE 2019

This Spring, Tate Modern stages a major exhibition of the work of pioneering artist Dorothea Tanning (1910-2012). First ever to span Tanning’s remarkable seven-decade career, it follows the story of Tanning’s life and work, from her influential first encounters with Surrealism in New York in the 1930s, through to her later years as a painter, poet and writer.

With a selection of 100 works, from her early enigmatic paintings to her ballet designs, uncanny stuffed textile sculptures, installations and large-scale late work, the exhibition explores how Tanning expanded the language of Surrealism.

In 1946, she married Max Ernst and her work from this time investigated domestic spaces, combining the familiar with the strange, exploring desire and sexuality. In the mid-1960s Tanning used her sewing machine to make highly original ‘soft’ sculptures that will be at the center of the exhibition. These hand-crafted, anthropomorphic forms, in between bodies and objects, inspired Surrealist sculptors as well as key contemporary figures such as Louise Bourgeois or Sarah Lucas.

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Dorothea Tanning (1910 – 2012) Birthday, 1942
Oil paint on canvas
1022 x 648 mm
Philadelphia Museum of Art
© DACS, 2018

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