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Tanning, Dorothea
American, 1910-2012
Etching and aquatint
14 1/2 x 10 inches (sheet)

Loose print positioned under the front flap, inside a book by the artist: Bilder Gouaches Zeichnungen, 1957-1963.

Dorothea Tanning was apainter, printmaker, designer, sculptor, and writer. Her parents were Swedish émigrés who settled in Illinois. She attended Galesburg High School and Knox College before studying very briefly at the Chicago Academy of Fine Art. Tanning moved to New York in 1936 and supported herself by working as a commercial artist while continuing to paint. The following year she viewed the surrealist exhibition Fantastic Art, Dada and Surrealism at the Museum of Modern Art and that exposure greatly influenced her work, as she became a leading Surrealist painter. She was introduced to the gallery owner Julian Levy and he offered her a solo exhibition of her paintings at his gallery; the first of two was mounted in 1944. The following year she designed costumes and sets for George Balanchine's ballet, The Night Shadow.

Tanning met Max Ernst in 1942 when he visited her studio and they married in Hollywood, California in 1946 in a double wedding ceremony with Man Ray and Juliet Browner. Tanning and Ernst moved to Sedona, Arizona where they built a house and in 1949 they moved to France, dividing their time between Paris and Touraine for years.

Gift of Vera and Stephen L. Schlesinger