Tag Archives: dorothea tanning

Modern Art Monday Presents: Dorothea Tanning, Notes For An Apocalypse

dorothea tanning notes for an apocalypse photo by gail worley
Photo By Gail

In Notes For An Apocalypse (1978), Dorothea Tanning returned to themes she had explored in the late 1930s after being introduced to surrealism at the Museum of Modern Art’s  1936 Fantastic Art, Dada, Surrealism exhibition. As she later explained, “I’ve always been drawn towards esoteric phenomena: the illogical, the inexpressible , the impossible.”

Here, the notion of domestic order, symbolized by the white table cloth, creased in a grid pattern, which Tanning has recalled from her Lutheran childhood in rural Illinois, is turned on its head. Bodies and limbs are so contorted that they are difficult to distinguish and, at times, nearly dissolve into the tablecloth.

Photographed in the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.

Modern Art Monday Presents: On Time Off Time By Dorothea Tanning

On Time Off Time

Dorothea Tanning (August 25, 1910 – January 31, 2012) was an American painter, printmaker, sculptor, writer and poet. Her early work was influenced by Surrealism, and she was the 4th and final wife of famous German surrealist Max Ernst (1891 – 1976).

In her own words Tanning noted the following about On Time Off Time:
“What I remember most about this picture is the support. It was a piece of wonderful linen that I stretched and prepared myself. It was the only time I ever did any such thing. And then, of course, when it was done, I felt I had to make some rare precious picture on it, and I think the words I used were the key to the enigmatic quality that I wanted.” Other than that, not much is known about this painting’s meaning.

Dorothea Tanning died at her home Manhattan in 2012, home at age 101 – wow!

Photographed in the Museum of Modern Art in Manhattan.