Tag Archives: Dorothea Tanning

A Dress for Special Occasions

I find all genres of painting interesting. I am usually attracted to paintings of the natural world that were created by impressionists, expressionists or abstract artists. Sometimes I am drawn to figurative paintings but they don’t particularly move me.

Surrealism

I like some types of surrealism. Some say that Surrealism gets its inspiration from dreams and fantasies that are free from censorship by reason or moral values. I once visited the work of one of the most famous surrealists, Salvador Dalí at his museum in Figueres, Spain. I found myself most attractived to  his early, somewhat realistic work and all of the paintings he did of his wife. I found his more surrealistic work interesting and intellectual but not compelling.

Dorothea Tanning 

Dorothea Tannning

Dorothea Tannning

One of my favorite paintings was done by the painter, Dorothea Tanning in 1942 and is titled, Birthday. She did not like to be defined as a surrealist, but that is how she is usually categorized. I find the painting very compelling, moving and touching. I find her dress to be A Dress for Special Occasions

It is a self-portrait that she did on her 30th birthday. I especially like that she painted it for this particular birthday. When I was younger, I thought that by 30 I would have my life figured out and that I would be content. It took me a few more years after turning 30 to get my act together. In this painting, her face seems to be questioning what and how her life will unfold. She lived until she was 101 years old.

When I look at this painting, I am intrigued by the many layers of imagination involved, both hers and mine. To me it is a perfect painting. I love the composition, colors and the emotion. I am of course drawn to the organic quality of her dress. It is plant-like. I don’t understand all of the painting, especially the black animal-like figure at the bottom right. Still, it inspires me. What is your reaction?

Dorothea Tanning

Dorothea Tanning, Birthday