Oct 5, 2011



c. 1939

Yves Tanguy

(French, 1900–1955)

Gouache with some incised lines drawn in metal point

Support: Off-white (probably wove) paper mounted on gray board

Sheet: 31.9 x 24.6 cm (12 9/16 x 9 11/16 in.); Secondary Support: 44.6 x 36.6 cm (17 9/16 x 14 7/16 in.)

Bequest of Lockwood Thompson 1992.283


Did you know?

This drawing was made around the time that Yves Tanguy fled Europe for the United States, in November 1939, following the outbreak of World War II.


Yves Tanguy developed an interest in the surrealist movement during the early decades of the 20th century, creating vague but evocative and meticulously rendered images that suggested dreams and the subconscious. Using smoothly applied color, Tanguy painted enigmatic biomorphic forms that often suggest human or animal figures and cast dramatic shadows throughout the composition. These shapes are found in the present drawing, within a sparse setting. The gray background tones suggest underwater depths, and could relate to the artist's experience in the Merchant Navy during World War I.

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