Art Brokerage: Dorothea Tanning American Photographer and Painter: b 1910-2012. Dorothea Margaret Tanning (August 25, 1910 – January 31, 2012) was an American painter, printmaker, sculptor, writer, and poet. Her early work was influenced by Surrealism. She was married to fellow Surrealist Max Ernst. Dorothea Tanning was born and raised in Galesburg, Illinois. After attending Knox College for two years (1928–30), she moved to Chicago in 1930 and then to New York in 1935. There she supported herself as a commercial artist while pursuing her own painting, and discovered Surrealism at the Museum of Modern Art’s seminal 1936 exhibition, Fantastic Art, Dada and Surrealism. After an eight-year relationship, she was married briefly to the writer Homer Shannon in 1941. Impressed by her creativity and talent in illustrating fashion advertisements, the art director at Macy’s department store introduced her to the gallery owner Julien Levy, who immediately offered to show her work. Levy later gave Tanning two one-person exhibitions (in 1944 and 1948), and also introduced her to the circle of émigré Surrealists whose work he was showing in his New York gallery, including the German painter Max Ernst. Apart from three weeks she spent at the Chicago Academy of Fine Art in 1930, Tanning was a self-taught artist.The surreal imagery of her paintings from the 1940s and her close friendships with artists and writers of the Surrealist Movement have led many to regard Tanning as a Surrealist painter, yet she developed her own individual style over the course of an artistic career that spanned six decades.nTanning’s early works – paintings such as Birthday and Eine kleine Nachtmusik (1943, Tate Modern, London) - were precise figurative renderings of dream-like situations. Like other Surrealist painters, she was meticulous in her attention to details and in building up surfaces with carefully muted brushstrokes. Through the late 1940s, she continued to paint depictions of unreal scenes, some of which combined erotic subjects with enigmatic symbols and desolate space. During this period she formed enduring friendships with, among others, Marcel Duchamp, Joseph Cornell, and John Cage; designed sets and costumes for several of George Balanchine's ballets, including The Night Shadow (1945) at the Metropolitan Opera House; and appeared in two of Hans Richter's avant-garde films. Tanning wrote stories and poems throughout her life, with her first short story published in VVV (magazine) in 1943 and original poems accompanying her etchings in the limited edition books Demain (1964) and En chair et en or (1973). However, it was after her return to New York in the 1980s that she began to focus on her writing. In 1986, she published her first memoir, entitled Birthday for the painting that had figured so prominently in her biography. It has since been translated into four other languages. In 2001, she wrote an expanded version of her memoir called Between Lives: An Artist and Her World.