Feminine Surreal: 70 Years of Dorothea Tanning

Feminine Surreal: 70 Years of Dorothea Tanning
#Exhibitions

“You can be a woman and you can be an artist. The first is a fact, the second is up to you.” Making her way through the male-dominated scene of the Surrealists couldn’t have been easy and having a husband as well-known as Max Ernst surely must have cast a shadow over her, but Dorothea Tanning had an undeniable talent. The sheer value of her painting today is enough in itself to attest to this fact - over a million dollars a painting. Painter, writer, poet and even costume designer for the theatre, Tanning is on display at the Tate Modern with approximately 100 works in the largest retrospective in the last 25 years. From her first meeting with Ernst to the milestones of her lengthy career, we discover how the artist amplified the language of Surrealism, exploring, with remarkable sensibility, the realms of domesticity, desire and sexuality. While the quality of her painting is of the highest level, inventiveness is not lacking either. The unknown and the familiar combine in works that jar the viewer, whether it be painted masterpieces like Eine keine Nachtmusik or the cloth sculptures that Tanning experimented with in the ‘60s that later influenced artists such as Louise Bourgeois and Sarah Lucas. The Tate dedicates a special space to this part of her works - the imaginary Chambre 202, Hotel du Pavot which gathers a collection of plush bodies on its walls with strange yet remarkable allure.
Francesca Grego - © 2019 ARTE.it for Bulgari Hotel London