Dorothea Tanning and the Tate Modern



After viewing gorgeous van Gogh paintings in the morning, my boyfriend and I met my cousin at the Tate Modern for the Dorothea Tanning exhibition. Being completely honest, I hadn’t actually heard of Dorothea Tanning before, but after having a look at some of her art online, we decided to book the Β£5 tickets on a whim using our Tate Collective cards to see a bit of modern art while we were out and about in London. I expected an exhibition full of paintings – similar to the van Gogh exhibition we’d seen before – but instead, we were treated to a colourful mixture of sculptures, paintings, installations and videos. This was a really pleasant surprise because it created such an interesting multi-dimensional exhibition that kept us wandering about for what seemed like a really long time.


A projected video of Dorothea’s artistic process was kept on loop and documented how and why she created her soft sculptures… before she threw them all down the stairs and they morphed into the weird human-like shapes she was trying to portray. I don’t think I ended up taking any photos of the sculptures – which I’m really disappointed about – but we were clearly too immersed in the exhibition to take too many pictures. I think my favourite pieces were the soft sculptures of bellies with little belly buttons. I don’t know what it was about them, but seeing your own sort of anatomy made out of soft materials and displayed on black frames is a really weird experience. I don’t usually take much notice of exhibitions of artists I don’t know, but I’m so glad we took a chance on this one and saw Dorothea’s incredible work.


I’d been to the Tate Britain for school trips throughout my A-Level Art studies, but I don’t think I ever properly stood in front of a piece of art to take it in – I was always too worried about what I should be drawing or taking photos of. I forgot how I much I love modern art and immersing myself in installations.

I was also really pleased to finally see a Salvador Dali piece in the flesh – the lobster telephone – so had to take a photo straight away. We had more time to kill than we realised and it felt like we were walking around for hours. It was so nice to be able to take things at our own pace, talk about a topic we were all interested in, and enjoy so many beautiful things.

Have you been to the Tate Modern recently?

Song Recommendation:

David Bowie –> Sound and Vision


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