Through interior landscapes
by Roberto Friedman
The late American artist Dorothea Tanning (1910-2012) began her painting career firmly ensconced among the Surrealists. In the 1940s, through New York art dealer Julien Levy, she met the earliest Surrealists, refugees from Nazi Germany, and she would eventually marry seminal modern artist Max Ernst. But over the course of a long life and art practice, Tanning moved through many art styles and interests. Over 30 of her paintings, sculptures and drawings are now on view in Unknown but Knowable States, running through March 2 at Gallery Wendi Norris (161 Jessie St., SF).
The show, the first to occupy the gallery's entire 5,000-sq.-ft. space, begins with Tanning's abstract works from the 1960s, and follows her return to more figurative work in the 1970s. Her large, virtuosic painting Chiens de Cythere (Dogs of Cythera) (1963) serves as a sort of centerpiece, testament to the artist's ongoing interest in depicting interior states of being. In later works, Rubenesque female nudes bend and curl into abstract space in an unusual and lyric blending of figure and ground.
The exhibition includes two soft sculptures, a Traffic Sign (1970) made of fabric, synthetic fur, wool, metal, and cardboard; and Etreinte (1969), a construction of wool flannel and fake fur stuffed with wool. Both pieces look back to Tanning's roots in Surrealism, especially recalling Meret Oppenheim's Object (Le Dejeuner en fourrure) (1936), a teacup, saucer and spoon that the artist famously covered with fur harvested from a Chinese gazelle.
Tanning also published two poetry collections, two memoirs and a short novel before her death last year at age 101. This posthumous gallery show is a fitting capstone to an extraordinary life and career.
The San Francisco Ballet School has announced the winners of scholarships funded by the Bob Ross Foundation, and we're proud to introduce the three talented youth here. The Bob Ross Scholarship recipient is Jeanette Kakareka, from Harleysville, PA, who appeared with the company in last season's Romeo & Juliet, Don Quixote and Glass Pieces; the Keith White Memorial Scholarship recipient is Miranda Silveira Templer, originally from Barcelona, Spain; and the Eric Hellman Memorial Scholarship recipient is Veronika Selivanova, from Vancouver, WA. (Ross was this newspaper's founder, White was a B.A.R. dance writer, and Hellman was a B.A.R. arts editor.)
Congratulations to the young performing stars, and happy decades of dancing!
What's in a name?
In an interview about mid-life with The New York Times last month, pop star Tori Amos discussed her relationship with her tweenage daughter. "Tash has quite a sense of humor, and she'll say to me, 'What do you think you're walking out of this hotel in?' And I'll say, 'It's comfortable.' And she'll say, 'No soccer mom is walking out of this hotel room. You'll be called Tori Anus.' It's kind of funny that I have a daughter who understands."