Dorothea Tanning was born in 1910 in Galesburg, Illinois and attended Knox College in her hometown before studying painting in Chicago (haunting the Art Institute where she learned what painting was.) In 1941, now in New York, she met the art dealer, Julien Levy, and his surrealist friends, refugees from Nazi occupied France. Late in 1942 Max Ernst visited her studio, saw a painting, (Birthday), and stayed to play chess. They would have 34 years together, at first in Sedona, Arizona (a mere outpost at the time). Here she would continue to paint her enigmatic versions of life on the inside, looking out: The Guest Room, The Truth About Comets, Eine Kleine Nachtmusik, Interior with Sudden Joy, Insomnias, Palaestra, Tamerlane, Far From. By 1956 Max and Dorothea had chosen to live and work thenceforth in France. Though Paris was headquarters, they preferred the country quiet lure in Touraine and Provence. These years included, for Dorothea Tanning, an intense five‐year adventure in soft sculpture: Cousins, Don Juan's Breakfast, Fetish, Rainy Day Canapé, Tragic Table, Verbe, Xmas, Emma, Revelation or the End of the Month, Hôtel du Pavot Room 202.
At present Dorothea Tanning lives in New York City, breathes words, as well as air, and looks at her paintings with amazement. It is 2009.(.dorotheatanning.org)