Doors are a recurrent them in Dorothea Tanning’s work. Tanning described in an interview a dream she once had of an endless succession of doors, which influenced her work right up to this painting: ‘I do recall I had a dream about doors a long time ago, and those doors appeared in many canvases afterward. It was a horrible dream. I opened it and it was another door right behind it… And 'Door 84'? By this time, the door is the victim. Both people are pushing at that door. It's being pushed by both sides. Maybe it never should open.’
Date of work
Original: Oil paint on canvas with found door 160 x 264 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.