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 Dorothea “Dottie” Tanning

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Dorothea “Dottie” Tanning

  • Birth 25 Aug 1910 Galesburg, Knox County, Illinois, USA
  • Death 31 Jan 2012 Manhattan, New York County (Manhattan), New York, USA
  • Burial Paris, City of Paris, Île-de-France, France
  • Memorial ID 84351673

Painter. A Surrealist, she created a large body of work, much of it rather disturbing. Raised in north central Illinois, she studied at her hometown's Knox College and in 1935 moved to New York City where she supported herself as a commercial illustrator. A 1935 exhibit at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) introduced her to the world of Surrealism and led her to start creating paintings of the genre in her spare time. By 1941, Dottie had sufficiently impressed gallery owner Julien Levy that he gave her two solo exhibits; she and her work caught the eye of noted painter and sculptor Max Ernst and the pair moved in together and lived for a time in the Arizona desert before marrying in 1946. As the years went by, Dottie began showing in increasingly important venues and saw her images become more 'surreal' as she, to use her words, "broke the mirror", though her attention to minute detail remained unchanged. Relocating to France in 1957, she and Ernst divided their time between Paris and the country, then thru the 1960s Dottie gradually began producing sculptures. Following Ernst's death she moved back to New York and kept active until well along in years, painting and, as time went on, writing. Dottie penned a novel entitled "Chasm: A Weekend" (2004), a 2001 autobiography entitled "Between Lives: An Artist and Her World", and two poetry collections, "A Table of Content" (2004) and the 2011 "Coming to That". At her death from the infirmities of advanced age her creations were on display in major galleries on both sides of the Atlantic. When asked to speculate on her lasting impact she said: "I'd be satisfied with having suggested that there is more than meets the eye".

Bio by: Bob Hufford


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Originally Created by: Bob Hufford
  • Added: 2 Feb 2012
  • Find A Grave Memorial 84351673
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Dorothea “Dottie” Tanning (25 Aug 1910–31 Jan 2012), Find A Grave Memorial no. 84351673, citing Cimetière du Père Lachaise, Paris, City of Paris, Île-de-France, France ; Maintained by Find A Grave .