Kay Sage

Katherine Linn Sage (June 25, 1898 – January 8, 1963), usually known as Kay Sage, was an American Surrealist artist and poet. She was active between 1936-1963. A member of the Golden Age and Post-War periods of surrealism, she is mostly recognized for her artistic works, which typically contain themes of an architectural nature.

 Sage did the bulk of her mature work between 1940, when she married Tanguy, and 1955, when he died suddenly from a cerebral hemorrhage. During most of that time the two artists lived at Town Farm in Woodbury, Connecticut. (They leased a house in the area beginning in 1941 but maintained a New York apartment for a while as well;in 1946 they purchased the farm and moved to Woodbury permanently.) They converted a barn on the farm into his-and-hers studios, separated by a partition with a door.Their large home was decorated with numerous pieces of Surrealist art and a variety of unusual objects, including a stuffed raven in a cage and an Eskimo mask.


 Although the Tanguys visited, and were visited by, many members of both the French expatriate and American art communities, such as mobile designer Alexander Calder and his family, they had difficulty keeping close friends. “Again and again Sage is described [by people who knew her] as imperious, forbidding, moody, quick to anger, remote, private, solitary, aloof, contradictory, and unapproachable,” Judith Suther writes.Tanguy, though friendlier, became notorious for his behavior when drunk, which included grabbing the heads of other men at a gathering and striking them hard and repeatedly with his own.


 During these years Sage’s art gained a solid reputation among art critics, though she found it difficult to emerge from the shadow of the better-known Tanguy. Her work was regularly included in national exhibits, won prizes, and was sold to major art museums. She had several solo shows at the galleries of Julien Levy and, beginning in 1950, Catherine Viviano in New York. In the Third Sleep won the Watson F. Blair Purchase Prize from the Art Institute of Chicago in October 1945, Sage’s first major public recognition. In 1951, All Soundings Are Referred to High Water won first prize in oils at the Eastern States Exposition of Connecticut Contemporary Art, and Nests of Lightning won first honorable mention in the 22nd Corcoran Biennial Exhibition of Contemporary American Painting. Sage and Tanguy had a large joint exhibition at the Wadsworth Atheneum in Hartford, Connecticut—their first and almost only exhibition together—in August and September 1954.Wikipedia

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