Inspirational Woman: Dorothea Tanning

Sequestrians, Dorothea Tanning
Sequestrians, 1976-83
Copyright The Estate of Dorothea Tanning

Somewhat belatedly, I’ve just read about the Dorothea Tanning: Web Of Dreams exhibition on at Alison Jacques Gallery in Berners Street, London until 27 August 2014.

I’ve been a huge admirer of Dorothea Tanning since reading her brilliant biography, Between Lives, about a decade ago – I wrote about it on this blog in 2012: One of the secrets of a happy life … I cannot recommend this book highly enough.

For their current exhibition, Alison Jacques press release says:

I don’t see why one shouldn’t be absolutely fascinated with the human form, there are so many reasons to be. Besides, we are living in human bodies, we go through life in this world envelope. Why not acknowledge that and try to say something about it? So what I try to say about it is transformation.
Dorothea Tanning, 1993

Working in close collaboration with The Dorothea Tanning Foundation, Alison Jacques Gallery is proud to present our second solo exhibition of works by Dorothea Tanning. Web of Dreams brings together a selection of paintings and works on paper spanning fifty years, many of which have never been exhibited before. The exhibition begins with Tanning’s 1939 work on paper Tango and ends with a work of the same title made in 1989, demonstrating the artist’s lifelong study of the passionate interplay of figures.

Included in a brief synopsis of the exhibits is this:

Of the works on paper exhibited, two books are shown displaying a frieze format. In Ouvre-Toi (1971), each page unfolds much like a narrative for a film, while a sketchbook from 1965 opens into a concertina, a visual love letter to her husband Max Ernst, with each page bearing a unique image of embracing figures and a single letter spelling out H-A-P-P-Y B-I-R-T-H-D-A-Y D-E-A-R M-A-X.

Sounds wonderfully surrealistic, no?

Short notice, I know, but do take some time, if you are able, to go along and see the work of this pre-eminent female artist.  I shall be doing my best to make it too.

Dorothea Tanning: Web of Dreams

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