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Dorothea Tanning – Tate Modern, London

I had seen only one piece by Tanning (as well as a few illustrations) before visiting this exhibition so just about every work was a new experience. Those I had seen prepared me for a treat. The early paintings are powerful examples of the figurative wing of surrealism – Freudian explorations of the subconscious – unsettling, thought-provoking – confounding reason and the established laws of reality. Birthday from 1942 is a prime example. A woman (probably a self portrait) stands in the foreground, her exotic blouse opened to reveal her breasts. A drape hangs from her waist along with some sort of vegetal encumbrance which looks as though it might be a form of seaweed, but on closer inspection seems to partly consist of tiny humanoid figures. Close by a winged creature of indeterminate provenance crouches on the bare boards of the room. The rest of the composition is taken up with a cacophony of open doors, a common motif throughout her life stemming in part from Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland – a key text for the Surrealists.  Read More


Recent Blog Articles

Exhibitions:

Pierre Bonnard: The Colour of Memory: Tate Modern
Jeff Koons: Ashmolean Museum, Oxford
Whistler and Nature: Compton Verney, Warwickshire

Museums

The Barber Institute, Birmingham
MALBA, Buenos Aires / Antonio Berni


Photography – China, a Mix of Peoples

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Art History Sites:


Neo-Impressionism: Latest Article

Paul Signac: Concarneau, Sardine Fishing – 1891



Photography – Trees Gallery

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Previous Galleries
Madrid, Seville and Madeira – Architecture
Buenos Aires – Street Art


Art History Sites:

Great Works of Western Art – links

Gustav Moreau: Jupiter and Semele
Nicolas Poussin: A Dance to the Music of Time
Vincent van Gogh: Church at Auvers
Pisanello: Vision of St Eustace