Tag Archives: yves tanguy

Modern Art Monday Presents: Kurt Seligmann, Memnon and The Butterflies

memnon and the butterflies photo by gail worley
Photo By Gail

To create the spiraling, anthropomorphic figures seeing in Memnon and The Butterflies (1942), Kurt Seligmann traced patterns of cracked glass that he projected onto his canvas. He was inspired by the vast open terrain of the American Southwest and elements from European mythology to create what he described, as psychological, “cyclonic“ landscapes where “living being seem to detach themselves from torturous geological formations. A world in formation – not the heroic landscapes of prehistory, but rather a lyrical one.”
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Modern Art Monday Presents: Kay Sage, The Fourteen Daggers

14 daggers by kay sage photo by gail worley
Photo By Gail

Katherine “Kay” Sage (18981963) came from a wealthy American family. In 1937, she moved to Paris intending to establish herself as an artist.  Inspired by Surrealism, she became friendly with Yves Tanguy, whom she married in 1940. Sage was very attracted by the work of Giorgio De Chirico and this influenced her early works. As with her husband,  she was drawn to depicting remote landscapes with a far horizon devoid of human figures.  Her paintings only rarely show human figures and these are usually wrapped or enveloped in cloth. Thus, we see the The Fourteen Daggers (1942) with two wrapped figures set in a De Chirico metaphysical space. Sage did fewer new paintings after Tanguy’s death in 1955, partly because of her depression and partly because of her decreasing eyesight due to cataracts. Sadly, she took her own life 1963.

Photographed in The American Folk Art Museum in Manhattan.


Modern Art Monday Presents: Yves Tanguy, My Life, Black and White

yves tanguy my life black and white photo by gail worley
Photo By Gail

Interlocking organic shapes of dull and sharp appendages support one another like a monument in the characteristic space of Yves Tanguy’s  My Life, Black and White (1944).  Having met the poet Andre Breton in 1925, Tanguy remained true to the Surrealist movement throughout his work, borrowing shapes and motifs from Jean Arp and Joan Miro.

Photographed in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC.

Modern Art Monday Presents: Painting of Unknown Title By Yves Tanguy

yves tangy title unknown photo by gail worley

Yves Tanguy’s debt to the still and imaginative landscapes of the Italian Surrealist Giorgio de Chirico is apparent in this work’s perplexing array of imagery that includes a small school of fish and child flattened by a cart. The plain white tower in the background — a favorite iconographic motif of de Chirico — secures the connection between the two artists. The title of this fun painting from 1926 is unknown

Photographed in The Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC.

Modern Art Monday Presents: Yves Tanguy, He Did What He Wanted

He Did What He Wanted
Photo By Gail

He Did What He Wanted (1927) was included in Yves Tanguy’s first solo show at the Galerie Surréaliste, Paris, in 1927. Before the exhibition opened, Tanguy and Surrealist leader André Breton invented titles for the paintings based on a 1922 book called Treaty of Metapsychics by Charles Richet, a Nobel Prize winner for medicine, which explored mysterious forms of cognition — a subject that resonated with the Surrealist interest in the unconscious and in dream states. The title of this work refers to a phenomenon Richet describes in which hypnotized subjects refuse to obey external commands. In early works, such as this one, Tanguy defined his signature style: a vaguely geological, otherworldly terrain strewn with symbols and enigmatic creatures. His biomorphic forms, rendered with a painterly treatment of surface that approaches abstraction, had a profound impact on postwar painters such as Matta and Arshile Gorky.

Photographed in the Museum of Modern Art in NYC.