Dorothea Tanning: Doesn’t the Paint Say It All?
Victoria Carruthers, Mary Ann Caws, Kate Conley, Pamela S. Johnson
American Surrealist artist Dorothea Tanning (1910–2012) worked across painting, sculpture, printmaking, installation and writing over the course of seven decades, producing one of the 20th century’s most enigmatic oeuvres. Tanning’s work conjures dreamlike worlds that straddle the hazy border between figuration and abstraction, pioneering a unique prismatic formal language that resonates keenly today.
This fully illustrated catalog highlights Tanning’s works created between the 1950s and ’90s, a particularly fruitful period in the artist’s career, and traces her stylistic arc through over 20 significant paintings drawn from interrelated phases of the artist’s practice. Scholars Mary Ann Caws, Victoria Carruthers and Kate Conley contribute essays to the volume; additionally, it reproduces Tanning’s 1986 essay “To Paint,” a poetic and impassioned manifesto on painting and Surrealism. The catalog takes its title from the last line of this text.