Now booking Tate Modern Exhibition

Dorothea Tanning

Dorothea Tanning, ‘Eine Kleine Nachtmusik’ 1943
Dorothea Tanning, Eine Kleine Nachtmusik 1943. Tate. © DACS, 2018

Over a seven-decade career, Dorothea Tanning pushed the boundaries of surrealism

The first major retrospective of Tanning’s work in the UK since her death in 2012 at the age of 101, this exhibition will tell the story of Tanning’s seven-decade career: from her enigmatic early paintings, such as the self-portrait Birthday 1942, to her pioneering stuffed-textile sculptures.

Tanning wanted to depict ‘unknown but knowable states’: to suggest there was more to life than meets the eye. She first encountered surrealism in New York in the 1930s. In the 1940s, she married fellow painter Max Ernst and they moved to the Arizona desert. Although surrounded by a vast landscape, many of her paintings from this time depict claustrophobic and unsettling domestic spaces.

From the 1950s, now working in Paris, Tanning’s paintings became more abstract, and in the 1960s she started making uncanny soft sculptures. Many of these works – including the room-sized installation Hôtel du Pavot, Chambre 202 – feature bodies: contorted, transformed and intertwined, they connect with her lifelong interest in dance. In later life, Tanning dedicated more of her time to writing, publishing poetry and a novel while in her 80s.

Organised by the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid in collaboration with Tate Modern

Exhibition curated by Alyce Mahon and Ann Coxon, Curator, International Art, Tate Modern

Dorothea Tanning Endgame 1944 Collection Harold and Gertrud Parker

Dorothea Tanning Endgame 1944 Collection Harold and Gertrud Parker

Dorothea Tanning Birthday 1942 Philadephia Museum of Art. 125th Anniversary Acquisition

Dorothea Tanning Birthday 1942 Philadephia Museum of Art. 125th Anniversary. Acquisition purchased with funds contributed by C. K. Williams, II, 1999

Dorothea Tanning Maternity 1946-1947 Private Collection

Dorothea Tanning Maternity 1946-1947 Private Collection

Dorothea Tanning Étreinte 1969 The Destina Foundation, New York

Dorothea Tanning Étreinte 1969 The Destina Foundation, New York

Dorothea Tanning Self-Portrait 1944 San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Purchase, by exchange, through a fractional gift of Shirley Ross Davis

Dorothea Tanning Self-Portrait 1944 San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Purchase, by exchange, through a fractional gift of Shirley Ross Davis

Tate Modern

Bankside
London SE1 9TG
Plan your visit

Dates

27 February – 9 June 2019

Pricing

£13 / FREE for Members

Admission £13 (Advance booking £11)

Concessions £12 (Advance booking £10)

Family child 12–18 years £5

Under 12s FREE (up to four per family adult)

16–25? Join Tate Collective for £5 tickets

See the exhibition for just £10 during Uniqlo Tate Lates. (Offer valid on visits from 18.00 during Uniqlo Tate Lates only.)

School groups must be booked in advance

Tickets can be booked online or by phone on +44 (0) 20 7887 8888 (9.45–18.00 daily)

For further information see booking FAQs

Related events

Tate Modern Private View

Members Private View: Dorothea Tanning

20 Mar 2019, 24 Apr 2019

​​​For Members with the London Private View Pass only​

Tate Modern Private View

Members Hours: Dorothea Tanning

27 Apr 2019, 28 Apr 2019, 4 May 2019, 5 May 2019, 6 May 2019

​​See the exhibition in the morning hours before the gallery opens to the public

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Find out more

Artist

Dorothea Tanning

1910–2012
Art Term

Surrealism

A twentieth-century literary, philosophical and artistic movement that explored the workings of the mind, championing the irrational, the poetic and ...

Artist

Max Ernst

1891–1976