Connect with us

DailyArtMagazine.com – Art History Stories

Dorothea Tanning- A Woman For Whom Max Ernst Left His Wife

20th century

Dorothea Tanning- A Woman For Whom Max Ernst Left His Wife

They fell in love while playing chess. After they had met at a party, Max Ernst passed by her studio to consider her works for his wife’s newly opened museum-gallery Art of This Century and was enchanted by this self-portrait:

I, Dorothea Tanning

Dorothea Tanning, Birthday, 1942, Philadelphia Museum of Art. ©The Estate of Dorothea Tanning

Dorothea Tanning, Birthday, 1942, Philadelphia Museum of Art. ©The Estate of Dorothea Tanning

Not only did Dorothea Tanning show at this exhibition, which featured only female artists, she also conquered Ernst’s heart. Peggy Guggenheim, who married Ernst a year before in 1941, recalled she always regretted organizing this show, as it somehow catalyzed Dorothea’s and Ernst’s love. But it was too late: Ernst divorced Peggy in 1946 and left to live with Dorothea in Sedona, Arizona.

“It’s about confrontation. Everyone believes he/she is his/her drama.”

Dorothea Tanning, Eine Kleine Nachtmusik, 1943, Tate Modern

Dorothea Tanning, Eine Kleine Nachtmusik, 1943, Tate Modern


This is how Dorothea described this Surrealist painting whose title is deceitfully called a ‘little serenade’ exactly as Mozart’s piece. Dorothea’s marriage with Ernst was about confrontation, too: her work was often overshadowed by his fame, and life with Ernst was not an easy one. After a couple of years in Sedona where they started an ‘artists’ colony’, they had to emigrate to France because Ernst was refused American citizenship. Yet, despite ups and downs they stayed together till his death in 1976.

Solitary work

Dorothea Tanning, Max in a Blue Boat, 1947, Max Ernst Museum, Brühl

Dorothea Tanning, Max in a Blue Boat, 1947, Max Ernst Museum, Brühl

Dorothea decided to return home and having to face a solitary life, she threw herself into the world of words: she still painted, and even sculpted, but her main focus was literature. She wrote poetry, novels. She died at her home in New York City on January 31, 2012.  She was 101 years old, and had just published her second collection of poems, Coming to That (Graywolf Press, 2011).

Find out more:


Magda, art historian and Italianist, she writes about art because she cannot make it herself. She loves committed and political artists like Ai Weiwei or the Futurists; like Joseph Beuys she believes that art can change us and we can change the world.

Comments

More in 20th century

  • 20th century

    Picasso Damaged at Tate Modern

    By

    On the 28th of December 2019, a man from the public marred the Picasso painting, Bust of a Woman. The painting is on a long-term loan from a private collector and it has since been removed from public view for restoration. What is this painting about?...

  • Yves Klein, Anthropometry of the Blue Period (ANT 82), 1960. Artwork © Yves Klein, Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris, 2017 Yves Klein, Anthropometry of the Blue Period (ANT 82), 1960. Artwork © Yves Klein, Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris, 2017

    20th century

    January Blues. Blue in Art

    By

    The January Blues, a well-known mood; festivities have come to an end and the winter is starting to feel gloomy. Therefore, to alleviate the melancholy, here is a trio of famous Blues from 20th-century art history. The Blue Nudes by Matisse These lithographs are “cut-outs” by the...

  • 20th century

    Afro-American Artists Arm in Arm: Charles White and Kerry J. Marshall

    By

    Last month the auction house Sotheby’s sold Kerry James Marshall’s painting Vignette 19 for $16 million. That’s a lot of money for a work by a living artist. But last year the same artist did even better. In May 2018, hip-hop producer and rapper P. Diddy bought...

  • 20th century

    Welcoming the Twenties with Tamara de Lempicka

    By

    Today I am taking you to a New Year’s Eve party. This year, like every year, we hope that the year coming will be better. But hearing that the twenties are coming somehow the picture of the 1920s comes to our imagination, with glamorous parties, jazz...

  • 20th century

    The Joy of Lucian Freud. The Self-portraits

    By

    Lucian Freud (1922-2011) is regarded as the pre-eminent British figurative painter of the last sixty years. Francis Bacon, two decades older, and David Hockney, a decade younger, are his main rivals. For years I hated Freud’s paintings of huge, misshapen bodies in improbable postures, done with...

To Top

Just to let you know, DailyArt Magazine’s website uses cookies to personalise content and adverts, to provide social media features and to analyse traffic. Read cookies policy