While a young student in Chicago, Dorothea Tanning (1910-2012) regularly haunted the corridors of the Art Institute in order to learn `what painting was'.
She later moved to New York, and met the art dealer, Julien Levy, who introduced her to surrealist refugees who had fled from occupied Europe, including her future husband Max Ernst.
Tanning and Ernst settled first in Sedona, Arizona,where she created enigmatic paintings of life on the inside, looking out (including Tate's own Eine Kleine Nachtmusik from 1943).
The couple transferred to Paris in 1956, a move which marked the beginning of Tanning's intense adventure in soft sculpture, featuring fleshy, figure-like protruberances captured in textured fabrics (such as the remarkable installation Chambre 202, Hotel du Pavot or Tate's Nue couchee1969-70).
Tanning returned to the USA after Ernst's death in 1976 and, while continuing to paint, she also began to write poetry and fiction (her published works include two memoirs, Birthday and Between Lives, two collections of poems Coming to That and A Table of Content, and a novel, Chasm).
Dorothea Tanning died at her home in New York City on January 31, 2012.
She was 101 years old. There is little in print detailing Tanning's entire career, and still less that is well illustrated.
This book will be a beautiful introduction to the work of a remarkable and fascinating artist.
It will include an overview of the artist's life and career written by Alyce Mahon;Ann Coxon will write on theme of the home and domestic in Tanning's art and examine the overlap with the several contemporary women artists; Idoia Murga Castro will explore the significance of dance and stage in tanning's work, with particular relevance to the drama of the 1940s and 50s; and Mahon will also write on Tanning's sculptural output. The texts and plates are to be punctuated by extracts from Tanning's diaries, selected by the curators and the Pamela Johnson, Executive Director of the Dorothea Tanning Foundation in New York.