This is one of a series of soft sculptures that Tanning made in the late 60s and early 70s. Étreinte
means ‘embrace’, and this sculpture, with its stuffed faux fur and peach flannel semi-abstract figures, gives the impression of two dancers engaged in a balletic embrace. The choice of soft, perishable fabrics was a deliberate one, as Tanning explained in an interview once: ‘I am often told, What a pity your sculptures aren't more solid. They might as well say dead, or paralyzed. No, I'm sorry for them that it should have happened that way. But it did. When you fall in love you don't ask the beloved, How long are you going to live?’
The largest size variation we are able to offer this print in is 60 x 80 cm.
Date of work
Original: Wool flannel and fake fur stuffed with wool 101 x 101 x 48 cm The Destina Foundation © DACS, 2018
Dorothea Tanning (1910 – 2012) was an American artist, writer and poet. Aside from three weeks of tuition at the Chicago Academy of Fine Art in 1930, she was entirely self-taught. Although often described as a Surrealist artist, after the 1940s Tanning moved away from surrealist themes and evolved her own personal style. She lived with her fellow artist and husband, Max Ernst, in France from 1949 until Ernst’s death in 1976. In 1980, she moved to New York, and after a decade of studio art there, turned to writing and poetry in the 1990s, which she continued until her death at the age of 101.