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Dorothea Tanning (1910-2012)
-Dorothea Tanning, Hail, Delirium!, 1992, catalog raisonne
My own feeling is that, as her art develops, Tanning's surfaces become more hermetically abstract, paralleling the development of her image of woman as an autonomous, Dionysian figure. But this is hardly absolute, for Tanning is able, unexpectedly, to go completely outside herself - to observe the other as well as express her sensitivity to herself - as indicated by Nude (1985; cat.53), her image of a pensive adolescent girl, whose body is in shadow. This image may be obliquely self-referential, as though it was the shadow of Tanning's memory of her own body that unconsciously fell across the girl's body, who thus becomes a hadean ghost from the past of the self. But the nude is vibrantly contemprary and forcefully descriptive, rather than timelessly abstract.
-Donald Kuspit, The Amorphousness of Being Other: Dorothea Tanning's Prints, Hail Delirium, catalog raisonne
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