On this day in 1910, the great surrealist painter Dorothea Tanning was born. Sadly, she is probably better known as Max Ernst’s wife than as a painter. But her work is amazing. And she was basically a self-taught artist, which is remarkable given the classical aspects of her work. Before she was recognized for her serious work, she supported herself as a commercial artist in New York.
I called her work surreal, but that’s only because that is what she is best known for. Her later work is more abstract. I can see the the surrealism in it, but probably just because I know her earlier work. It is supremely confident and beautiful. She was also a poet and short story writer. You can read more about that and see an example of her later work in, With Our Souls in Our Laps.
Tanning only died two years ago at the age of 101. You can check out a number of her works at, ArtOdyssey. Here is one of my favorite of her paintings:
Happy birthday Dorothea Tanning!