Dorothea Tanning

Dorothea Tanning

United States • Born in: 1910

​Master Artists

Contemporary Women Surrealists

Magic Realism

Printmakers Artists

American artists

In 2012, aged 101, passed away one of the last representatives of surrealism of the great era, Dorothea Tanning. Too often identified as "wife of" Max Ernst , she deserves above all to be recognized for her rare talent. So who is Dorothea Tanning, one of the twentieth century's most sulphurous American painters?

Born in 1910 in the state of Illinois, to Swedish parents, the young Dorothea developed her artistic sense very early on. Compulsive designer, at the age of twenty, she finally left to study at the Art Institute of Chicago and then settled in New York as an advertising designer.


As for many, the 1936 exhibition "Fantastic-art, Dada, surrealism" at Moma is a revelation for the artist, who subsequently joined the group of New York surrealists led by André Breton. The same year, she notably produced her famous painting: Little night music.


In 1943, already exhibited in the prestigious Julien Levy gallery, she met the German painter and sculptor Max Ernst. They married in 1946, in Los Angeles, at the same time as Man Ray and Juliet Browner.


At the beginning of the 1950s, the couple settled permanently in France (in Paris, then in the provinces). Dorothea Tanning then meets all the European precursors of surrealism. Curiously, it was also at this time that she turned away from this movement to develop a unique and totally revolutionary style.


The American breaks the ancient codes of painting by deciding to represent desire from a female point of view. She declares "breaking the mirror" by refusing the status of muse or wife reserved for women who levitate around the surrealists.


His work was hailed by critics and, over the following decades, major contemporary art institutions devoted retrospective exhibitions to him (the Center Pompidou, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, etc.).


After Ernst's death in 1976, Dorothea Tanning returned to New York. She died in her Manhattan apartment on January 31, 2012.

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Who is the artist?

In 2012, aged 101, passed away one of the last representatives of surrealism of the great era, Dorothea Tanning. Too often identified as "wife of" Max Ernst , she deserves above all to be recognized for her rare talent. So who is Dorothea Tanning, one of the twentieth century's most sulphurous American painters?

Born in 1910 in the state of Illinois, to Swedish parents, the young Dorothea developed her artistic sense very early on. Compulsive designer, at the age of twenty, she finally left to study at the Art Institute of Chicago and then settled in New York as an advertising designer.


As for many, the 1936 exhibition "Fantastic-art, Dada, surrealism" at Moma is a revelation for the artist, who subsequently joined the group of New York surrealists led by André Breton. The same year, she notably produced her famous painting: Little night music.


In 1943, already exhibited in the prestigious Julien Levy gallery, she met the German painter and sculptor Max Ernst. They married in 1946, in Los Angeles, at the same time as Man Ray and Juliet Browner.


At the beginning of the 1950s, the couple settled permanently in France (in Paris, then in the provinces). Dorothea Tanning then meets all the European precursors of surrealism. Curiously, it was also at this time that she turned away from this movement to develop a unique and totally revolutionary style.


The American breaks the ancient codes of painting by deciding to represent desire from a female point of view. She declares "breaking the mirror" by refusing the status of muse or wife reserved for women who levitate around the surrealists.


His work was hailed by critics and, over the following decades, major contemporary art institutions devoted retrospective exhibitions to him (the Center Pompidou, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, etc.).


After Ernst's death in 1976, Dorothea Tanning returned to New York. She died in her Manhattan apartment on January 31, 2012.

What are his 3 main works?

What is Dorothea Tanning’s artistic movement?

The artistic movements of the artists are: Contemporary Women Surrealists, Magic Realism

When was Dorothea Tanning born?

The year of birth of the artist is: 1910