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Exquisite Dreams

The Art and Life of Dorothea Tanning

Beautifully illustrated with images of Dorothea Tanning’s artwork and more, the first—and definitive—study of this important artist’s life and creative output.
Exquisite Dreams is the first full account of the art and life of Dorothea Tanning (1910–2012). Rather than only focusing on her well-known surrealist paintings, this book gives equal weight to Tanning’s lesser-known but equally powerful sculptures, abstract paintings, and films. Setting Tanning’s writings, biography, and artwork into the contexts of advertising, fashion, popular culture, and art in New York and Paris, Lyford brings Tanning’s ideas and feelings to life. Using new archival sources and analyses of Tanning’s work in a variety of media, Lyford broadens our understanding of the artist. This amply illustrated book is an important contribution to the history of women artists, gender and sexuality studies, as well as the history of Surrealism. It will appeal to art historians and art lovers alike.

320 pages | 120 color plates, 10 halftones | 7 1/2 x 9 3/4

Art: Art--Biography

Biography and Letters

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“Lyford has shaped a plethora of archival information into a story of Dorothea Tanning’s life and works. Exquisite Dreams is a highly readable page-turner that engages fully with Tanning’s canny critiques of gender and sexuality and illuminates the complexities of Tanning’s life, showing Tanning to be one of the most intriguing artists of the twentieth century.”

Jennifer Shaw, Sonoma State University, author of "Exist Otherwise"

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