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Dorothea Tanning (1910-2012)
Visat's etching atelier became my second studio. So for my first Paris solo exhibition what better way to enrich the little catalogue than with an etching in color - limpid colors, several of which could often be wiped onto the same plate - in this case two plates, one for the carmine, one for the Prussian blue and ochre. From this moment on everything about the etching process was dramatic and headlong. I wanted to capture a moment, however fleeting it might be; to fix it, like evidence, a flashed image.
-Dorothea Tanning, Hail, Delirium!, 1992, catalog raisonne
In Red Drama Tanning becomes more or less completely abstract. But we can decipher, fused together, the lines of a giant, presumably male, monster embracing - raping? overpowering? - a young girl. A new sensuous graininess appears - a new explicitness of surface - as well as that vigorous amorphousness that for me is characteristic of many Tanning prints: a bold flexibility of handling and complication of surface, indicating the amazing subtlety and power of Tanning's touch - the strength and durability of her irrationality, her sensuous depth.
-Donald Kuspit, The Amorphousness of Being Other: Dorothea Tanning's Prints, 1992
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