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Yves Tanguy

Birth

Yves Tanguy was born on January 5, 1900, in Paris. After the death of his father in 1907 and studying at Lycee, where he met his future dealer and lifelong friend, Tanguy joined the French merchant navy. Ater a short military service, he became interested in surreal artwork.

 
 

Surrealism and a slight madness

Yves TanguyTanguy's first encoiunter with surreal artwork was when he saw two paintings by Giorgio de Chirico. One of which was De Chirico\'s "Le cerveau de l'enfant" ("The Brain of the Child"), which Tanguy actually jumped off a moving bus to see. The gallery was the same one in which Breton discovered De Chirico's work some years later. Despite Tanguy's lack of training and the fact that he didn't decide to paint until Yves Tanguythe encounter with De Chirico's paintings his association with the surrealists was inevitable because of his tendency for the absurd. He was welcomed by Breton as a member of the Surrealist group in 1925 after reading a periodical, le revolution Surrealiste. His house, where he lived with Duchamp and Prevert, a friend from military service, had already become a gathering place for the group. Tanguy's work is characterised by dreamlike landscapes and is slightly reminiscent of Dali. It can be divided into three stages, 1926-30 was the aerial universe, 1930-48 he painted beaches littered with minerals and after his naturalisation in the United States in 1948, began painting rock formations and the submarine world. Tanguy's slight madness seeps into his artwork as did Dali's, some examples of the more eccentric side of the artist are chewing his socks and marinating spiders in wine. Indeed, he liked nothing more than such novelty in his art, commenting: "I found that if I planned a picture beforehand, it never surprised me, and surprises are my pleasure in painting"

Death

Six years after Yves Tanguy dies of a cerebral haemorrhage on January 15th 1955 his wife, Kay Sage - also an artist, commits suicide.