Friday, April 16, 2010

Arty Farty Friday ~ Yves Tanguy & Kay Sage

A duo this week. I chose Tanguy because of his rather unusual natal chart, and his artist wife seemed like a natural addition.

Yves Tanguy was born in Paris in 1900, son of a retired sea captain. Yves was said to be a very quiet and at the same time anarchistic man. Allegedly, after having visited a an exibition of the surrealist art of Giorgio de Chirico he spontaneously decided to become a painter, and gravitated naturally to his own version of the surrealist style, more or less untaught.

It's believed that surrealism - painting from the world of dreams and the subconscious mind - may have its roots in the despair felt by the young generations of Europe during and after the First World War. Young artists seemed to be seeking inspiration from their inner mind rather than from what they saw as a failed outer world .

Tanguy moved from France to the USA at the outbreak of World War II, with help from another artist, Kay Sage, who was to become his wife, after divorce from a previous spouse.

Kay Sage was born in Albany, New York, into a privileged background, studied in "all the best places" and lived for many years in Italy, married an Italian prince, divorced after 10 years.She lived during a period when most women didn't enjoy the same freedoms and opportunities as men. She quite likely took inspiration from her mother who was something of a social rebel, and of course, had the advantages and connections which stem from a wealthy background. As well as painting she wrote poetry. Her surrealist paintings were inspired by the same artist, Giorgio de Chirico, whose work had first inspired Tanguy. After her first marriage failed she moved to Paris, met and married Yves Tanguy.

Tanguy died suddenly in 1955 - a stroke followed an accident. His widow Kay, already depressive by nature, fell into deep despair and in the years following attempted suicide on two occasions. The second time, in 1963, she was successful, shooting herself in the heart. Failing eyesight had no doubt added to the depression she still must have felt over losing her husband.

Their work isn't at all similar. Tanguy's seems softer, dreamier, while Sage's is more architectural, harder-edged, and while it's the stuff of inner vision seems less genuninely dreamy and more contrived and theatrical, perhaps to make some point. It's beautifully painted though, and I prefer her work to Tanguy's. It's said that Tanguy's paintings were partly a comment on the arms race and war, cryptic and codified. Both have a feeling of space, of a different dimension, they seem silent and weirdly worrying.

Tanguy, born in Paris, France on 5 January 1900 at 5:00 am (Astrotheme). I have to confess that Yves Tanguy's natal chart intrigued me more than his paintings. Some of that cluster of symbols occupying the area of Sagittarius and Capricorn are not planets, but they are significant points or bodies (North node of Moon conjunct Chiron, and Part of Fortune). Sagittarius and Capricorn are quite unlike each other, one being expansive, outgoing, the other more structured and limiting. I expect he was an interesting character, but hard to understand at times. Outer planets Neptune and Pluto in Gemini, flanking South node of Moon oppose some of the Sagittarius planets. The oppositions provided some much needed balance to the chart, and to his nature. Planet of the arts, Venus was in Aquarius and Moon in imaginative dreamy Pisces. Venus in harmonious sextile to Uranus, planet of the avant garde and unexpected, reflects his strong attraction to surrealism. Sage's Uranus is in harmonious trine to her Venus - the attraction to surrealism in her case.

Kay Sage: born in Albany, New York on 25 June 1898, no time of birth available. chart set for 12 noon - ascendant and Moon degree will be inaccurate.

Its the trine between Tanguy's natal Moon in Pisces and Sage's natal Sun in Cancer which represents the strong attraction they had for one another. Her Moon, somewhere in mid-Virgo, and his Sun at 14 Capricorn were also in trine, more likely than not (depending on her time of birth). His Venus opposes hers, which probably made for an interesting tussle from time to time!

Three examples of the work of each artist below. More available via Google Image.






SAW 3 CITIES - Kay Sage

More information:


Wisewebwoman said...

I'm with you on Sage and find Tanguy a little monotonous in theme.
I'd like to know more about Sage, her life is worth exploring.

Twilight said...

WWW ~~~She was an interesting woman for sure - there's an extended biography at this link

A book (a bit expensive but might be available at a library)