Dorothea Tanning at Tate Modern, February 27 – June 9, 2019

“Tate Modern stages a major exhibition of the work of pioneering artist Dorothea Tanning (1910-2012). Organised in collaboration with the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía in Madrid, it is the first large-scale exhibition of her work for 25 years and the first ever to span Tanning’s remarkable seven-decade career. Bringing together some 100 works from across the globe, the exhibition explores how she expanded the language of Surrealism. From her early enigmatic paintings, to her ballet designs, uncanny stuffed textile sculptures, installations and large-scale late works, it offers a rare opportunity to experience the artist’s unique internal world.

The exhibition 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. Prominent early works are brought together, such as the artist’s powerful self-portrait Birthday 1942 (Philadelphia Museum of Art) which attracted the attention of Max Ernst whom she married in 1946. These join key examples of Tanning’s mid-career prismatic paintings, as well as and her later soft sculptures to show the full breath of her practice.” — Tate Modern

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

Dorothea Tanning (1910 – 2012). Children’s Games, 1942. Oil paint on canvas, 280 x 180 mm. Private collection © DACS, 2018

Dorothea Tanning (1910 – 2012). Eine Kleine Nachtmusik, 1943. Oil paint on canvas, 407 x 610 mm. Tate © DACS, 2018

Dorothea Tanning (1910 – 2012). Self-Portrait, 1944. Oil paint on canvas, 610 x 760 mm. San Francisco Museum of Modern Art © DACS, 2018. Photo © Katherine Du Tiel

Dorothea Tanning (1910 – 2012). Maternity, 1946-47. Oil paint on canvas, 1422 x 1219 mm. Private collection © DACS, 2018

Dorothea Tanning (1910 – 2012). La Truite au bleu (Poached Trout), 1952. Oil paint on canvas, 400 x 550 mm. Michael Wilkinson, New Orleans, L.A © DACS, 2018

Dorothea Tanning (1910 – 2012). Hôtel du Pavot, Chambre 202, 1970-1973. Fabric, wool, synthetic fur, cardboard, and Ping-Pong balls, 3405 x 3100 x 4700 mm. Centre Pompidou, Paris. Musée national d’art modern/ Centre de création industrielle. Photo (C) Centre Pompidou, MNAM-CCI, Dist. RMN-Grand Palais / Philippe Migeat © DACS, 2018

Dorothea Tanning (1910 – 2012). Éntreinte, 1969. Wool flannel and fake fur stuffed with wool, 1016 x 1028 x 482 mm. The Destina Foundation, New York © DACS, 2018

Dorothea Tanning (1910 – 2012). Verbe, 1966-1970. Flannel, wool, tweed, cardboard, polyfill, forged steel, and wooden jigsaw puzzle pieces from Johannes Vermeer’s “The Artist’s Studio” (ca.1665/66), 890 x 1160 mm. Yale University Art Gallery, Janet and Simeon Braguin Fund © DACS, 2018

Photographer unknown. Dorothea Tanning, Great River, Long Island, 1944. Photograph The Destina Foundation, New York © unknown

Dorothea Tanning is curated by Alyce Mahon, Reader in Modern and Contemporary Art History at the University of Cambridge, and Ann Coxon, Curator, International Art, Tate Modern, supported by Emma Lewis and Hannah Johnston, Assistant Curators, International Art, Tate Modern. The exhibition is organised by the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid in collaboration with Tate Modern.

Images courtesy Tate Modern.