R.I.P. Dorothea Tanning, Surrealist Darling

R.I.P. Dorothea Tanning, Surrealist Darling

Many of you have already heard about the death of the surrealist darling, Dorothea Tanning. She was a lofty 101 years old when she passed away peacefully in her home in New York City on January 31.

Dorothea Tanning led a truly remarkable life, not because she lived so long but because she lived so fully. As a young woman, she pursued her dreams to become an artist, and now leaves behind a significant body of painting, sculpture, and works on paper created over the course of six decades. For 34 years, she shared a loving partnership with her husband, Max Ernst, first in the United States and later in France. After his death in 1976, she returned to New York and demonstrated that it is never to late to begin a new chapter in life. In her mid-seventies, she became more productive than ever in her studio, and in her mid-eighties launched a new and successful career as a writer and poet. She worked until her last days, publishing her second book of poems, Coming to That, in the fall of 2011. -Pamela S. Johnson, Director, The Dorothea Tanning Foundation

Dorothea was one of the few original Surrealists still alive, not to mention that she was one of the few woman who were part of the original Surrealist clan that Andre Breton lead in the early part of the 20th century. Her death comes right after that of another female art icon, Eiko Ishioka. It’s been a sad month for Surrealists all around. Not just female artists. As Dorothea once said, “And ‘woman artist’? Disgusting.”

You can learn more about this iconic lady by visiting the Tanning Foundation. Critic Jerry Saltz also wrote a wonderful essay on her life that you can read here.