Yves Tanguy

YVES TANGUY (1900 – 1955)
Classed as “the most surrealist of the Surrealists” by the artistic movement’s leader André Breton, Yves Tanguy was born in Paris in 1900 at the Ministère de la Marine, Place de la Concorde, where his father, a retired sea captain, worked. He spent summers in his family's home in Finistère, Brittany, with the Breton landscape of his youth playing a decisive role in his later surreal dreamscapes. After a brief period working as a merchant marine (including travels to South America, Africa and England), Tanguy was drafted into French military service in 1920, where he met and befriended the poet Jacques Prévert. Released from their duties in 1922, the two spent time in Paris searching for an artistic or literary purpose. In 1923, Tanguy caught sight of Giorgio de Chirico’s Metaphysical work in a window of Paul Guillaume's gallery, a revelation that prompted him to become an artist, even though he possessed no formal training. Moving to 54 rue du Château with Prévert and Maurice Duhamel in 1924, the apartment soon became an important center of Surrealist meeting and activity. In 1925, he met Breton, who became a close friend. The reproduction of his work The Ring of Invisibility in ‘La Révolution Surréaliste’ (June 1926) officially cemented Tanguy’s association with Surrealism. In 1927, he married Jeanne Ducrocq and was given his first solo exhibition at the Galerie Surréaliste, Paris. He participated in the Exposition du Groupe Surréaliste (Galerie Sacre du Printemps, Paris) the following year.Travels to Africa in 1930, where he admired curious rock formations proved inspirational. In 1938, Tanguy met the Americanartist Kay Sage and the two soon began their life together. Due to gathering tensions in Europe, Tanguy joined Sage in NewYork in late 1939 in order to ‘officially’ attend the opening of his first US solo exhibition at the Pierre Matisse Gallery, the inaugural show of ‘The Society for the Preservation of European Culture’. Further to his marriage to Sage in 1940, they moved to Woodbury, Connecticut (1941). In 1946, they bought ‘Town Farm’, a
19th century farmhouse with studio-barn where Tanguy lived and worked. Tanguy, however, remained in close contact with fellow Surrealists, such as a 1951 trip to visit Max Ernst and Dorothea Tanning in Sedona, Arizona, as well as his 1954 involvement in Hans Richter’s film 8 x 8 with other Surrealists in New York). He died unexpectedly in 1955.

Ultimo aggiornamento: 17/07/2023

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