Dorothea Tanning was the last surviving member of the surrealist movement. She died in New York at age 101. Tanning had joined the movement in the 1940s and her first piece of art was done at age 15. It was of a nude woman with leaves in her hair. Her artwork almost always depicted the female form in dreamlike scenes. One piece of art in particular called the “Maternity” is a piece that shows a half naked woman holding an agitated baby while below her feet is a poodle with a face as a child.
Her work can be found around the world, like in the Tate Museum and in MOMA. Currently her artwork is being featured in an exhibition called Wonderland: The Surrealist Adventures of Women Artists in Mexico and the United States at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Tanning had been great influenced to such artists as Yayoi Kusuma and Louis Bourgeois.
She was born in 1910 in Galesburg, Ill., spent some time in Chicago and in 1936 moved to New York where she was inspired by the art work and art movements. In 1940 she moved to Paris and two years later met her future husband and well known artist Max Ernst. They were married by 1946 until his death in 1976.
After the surrealist movement ended in the 50s, Tanning decided to change to “prism painting” which she became more favored too. Though she wasn’t just a painter, in her later years she became a writer and poet. At age 86, she wrote her first memoir called, “Birthday” and in 2004 she wrote a short novel, “Chasm” and a collection of poetry, “A Table of Content.” Up until her death she was writing and in the fall of 2011 her second collection of poetry, “Coming to That” was published by Graywolf.
Dorothea Tanning lived her life to the fullest, from her artwork to her writings; she always worked on something to share with the world. She will be sadly missed by many but we can take this from her, always follow your dreams because that was what she did, she lived her life.
Artlyst , “Dorothea Tanning Surrealist Artist And Wife Of Max Ernst Dies”
The Guardian, Alex Needham, “Dorothea Tanning, surrealist artist, dies aged 101″