“Dorothea Tanning : Flower Paintings”
Alison Jacques Gallery
16-18 Berners St. London W1T 3LN
September 1 – October 1, 2016
Opening Reception: Sept 1, 6-8pm
Opening on September 1st, Alison Jacques Gallery will exhibit Dorothea Tanning’s final paintings, which will be shown together for the first time since 1999. Conceived as a series of 12, these imaginary blooms were painted in 1997-98 and published together with poems written by contemporary poets in an anthology the artist called Another Language of Flowers (1998). Nearly 20 years since they were made, Alison Jacques Gallery will exhibit the six flower paintings that remained in Tanning’s collection at the time of her death in 2012.
Tanning painted the botanical collection between 1997 and 1998 after stumbling upon a forgotten set of stretched Lefebvre-Foinet canvases. Her discovery let to a burst of creative energy starting with “a vision of a mauve flower” which then led to more fanciful blooms. Of the process at the time, Tanning said “Then more and more wanted to be painted. I could hardly finish one before I’d start the next one.” Although the idea for each flower came out of the mind of the painter herself, not from a science book, they carry an air of artistic authenticity, described by Tanning as “a foray into imaginary botany,” they are as real to the artist as “botanical specimens are to the scientist.”
Tanning painted a flower for each month of the year, or one for each hour of the day and night. In each piece her preoccupation with the female figure remains – bodies and limbs embrace the flowers or blend into her dream-like landscapes.