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 Yves Tanguy  (1900 - 1955)

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Lived/Active: Connecticut / France      Known for: surreal vegetal landscape painting

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Ad Code: 1
Yves Tanguy
from Auction House Records.
DEUX FOIS DU NOIR
© 2001 Estate of Yves Tanguy / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Born in Paris, Yves Tanguy became one of the leading artists of a movement called Surrealism, depictions that suggested other-worldliness and eerie circumstances. Tanguy's most characteristic works are painted in a style reminiscent of Salvadore Dalí, but his imagery is highly distinctive, featuring strange landscapes in which amorphous objects proliferate in a haunted dream world. His paintings often had indefinable inhabitants, casting long shadows across a landscape, in a meticulously detailed style that bridged realism and abstraction.

The son of a sea captain, he spent his childhood in Paris and in Brittany where the landscape with its empty plateaus, grey skies and dried bones made a great impression upon him. He also spent many hours watching a local painter at work. In 1918, he joined the Merchant Marines and traveled to South America, Africa, and England. He served in the army during World War I and returned to Paris. Already he had a reputation as an unusual human being, one who would shock others in antics such as soaking spiders in wine and then eating them or devouring his own socks.

The event that inspired him to become an artist seems more appropriate to fiction than reality. In 1923, he leapt off a bus in motion because he saw two paintings in a gallery window that caught his eye. He learned the paintings were by surrealist Giorgio de Chirico. From that time, Tanguy devoted himself to painting in a way unique to him but inspired by de Chirico and other surrealists. In 1924, he took an apartment with poet Jacques Prevert and Maurice Duhamel, and their place became a center of Surrealist meetings. Soon Tanguy was in the foremost ranks of that group of painters, and Andre Breton, one of the leading surrealists, was a great supporter of Tanguy and first introduced his work to the public.

In 1927, Tanguy married Jeanned Ducrocq and had his first one-man exhibition. In 1930, he traveled to Africa where he became fascinated by rock formations whose shapes he incorporated into his landscapes. In 1939, he met American painter Kay Sage in Paris, and they later married. They traveled to the American West in 1940, and returned in 1951 to visit Max and Dorothea Ernst in Sedona, Arizona. Tanguy became an American citizen, and from 1941 until his death in 1955, lived in Woodbury, Connecticut.

In 1939, he emigrated to the United States where he lived for the rest of his life, marrying the American Surrealist painter Kay Sage in 1940 and becoming an American citizen in 1948. They lived in Woodbury, Connecticut, and he died died on January 15, 1955 from a cerebral hemorrhage.












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