Friday, January 04, 2019

Arty Farty Friday ~ The Strange Worlds of Yves Tanguy

Yves Tanguy was born in Paris in 1900, son of a retired sea captain. Yves was said to be a very quiet, yet at the same time, anarchistic man. Allegedly, after having visited a an exhibition 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. (For more about Sage, see my 2010 post about the couple).

Tanguy died suddenly in 1955 - a stroke followed an accident.

I'm giving Yves Tanguy's portion of my old post another airing, with some different images included, mainly due to his unusual natal chart.

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, optimistic; the other more structured, serious and limiting. I suspect that he was an interesting character, fun - 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; Moon was in imaginative dreamy Pisces. Venus in harmonious sextile to Uranus, planet of the avant garde and unexpected, reflects his strong attraction to surrealism.

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"

I've picked out a few examples of his work, arranged them in date order. I like the fact that he gave most of his pieces titles - strange as these may be!

 Extinction of Useless Lights (1927)

 He Did What He Wanted (1927)

 Ribbon of Extremes (1932)

 Tomorrow (1938)

 The Satin Tuning Fork (1940)

 My Life, White and Black.(1944)

 There, Motion Has Not Yet Ceased. (1945)

Sept Microbes vus à travers un tempérament  (1953)
I think the title translates to "Seven microbes seen through a temperament".


Wisewebwoman said...

Extraordinary, they have a certain appeal though I doubt I'd hang them in my home :)


Twilight said...

Wisewebwoman ~ Me neither! They're not unpleasant but very odd, even with the titles to help!

Reema dsouza said...

I think, and it feels through all the articles, that you have mastered your subject from end to end.

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