Art News

The Katonah Museum of Art Exhibits the "The Surreal Worlds of Kay Sage & Yves Tanguy"

artwork: Yves Tanguy - "Multiplication of the Arcs", 1954 - Oil on canvas - 40" x 60" - Collection of the Museum of Modern Art, New York. ©The Museum of Modern Art/Licensed by SCALA/Art Resource, NY. Photograph © 2011 Estate of Yves Tanguy/ Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. On view at the Katonah Museum, New York in  "Double Solitaire: The Surreal Worlds of Kay Sage and Yves Tanguy" until September 18th.

Katonah, NY.- The Katonah Museum of Art is pleased to present “Double Solitaire: The Surreal Worlds of Kay Sage and Yves Tanguy”, on view at the museum through September 18th. Organized in partnership with the Mint Museum of Art in Charlotte, North Carolina, “Double Solitaire” is the first major touring exhibition to explore the dynamic exchange of ideas that shaped the astonishing landscapes of these Surrealist artists and to reveal, in particular, Sage’s influence on Tanguy’s later work. “Double Solitaire” features approximately 25 paintings by each artist, dating from 1937 to 1958, as well as selected ephemera, providing a window into the couple’s personal lives.

Kay Sage - "I Saw Three Cities", 1944 Oil on canvas - 36 1/4" x 27 15/16" Collection of the Princeton University Art Museum. Photography by Bruce M. On view at Katonah Museum, NYSage and Tanguy were inseparable throughout their 15-year marriage, sharing a studio in Woodbury, Connecticut and communicating only in French until Tanguy’s untimely death in 1955. Both artists sought to create paintings that the French poet André Breton called “peinture-poésie,” a style influenced by poetry and dream-like imagery. However, in spite of their intimacy, the two artists never wanted to be considered a “team of painters.” With the condition that they be placed in separate galleries, a 1954 exhibition at the Wadsworth Atheneum in Hartford, Connecticut, was the closest their works ever came to being shown together. Initially, Tanguy’s influence on Sage was stronger, as she was just beginning to paint professionally when they met.

His paintings from the early 1940s initiate a new direction in her work, a turn towards the geometric imagery that became the hallmark of her mature style.  But Sage’s art also affected Tanguy’s, something that has heretofore gone unrecognized.  Distinct changes in Tanguy’s paintings—including shifts in compositional strategies, the adoption of a muted color palette, and the introduction of a dominant “figure”—came directly from working in close proximity to his wife. The Double Solitaire exhibition is divided into three primary themes, the art each produced when Tanguy was already an established member of the Surrealist movement and Sage was first entering the group’s orbit. the numerous ways in which each influenced the other’s compositions, motifs and subject matter while living and working together in the United States and an examination of their art’s personal and social influence, including the impact that Tanguy’s death had upon Sage and her later work.

Yves Tanguy (1900-1955) was born in Paris and spent much of his childhood on the Brittany coast at Locronon, whose landscape was comprised of the prehistoric Celtic rock formations which were of great influence to his painting. It was Tanguy’s desert-like scenes, melding the land and sky which Andre Breton saw as the most poetic of Surrealist painting. Kay Sage (1898-1963), born in upstate New York and raised in Italy, began painting professionally in the mid-1930s. She created what is considered by many as the most geometrically-oriented imagery in Surrealism. Tanguy was among  several French artists for whom Sage arranged refuge in the United States following the outbreak of World War II; the artists were married in 1940 and spent the rest of their lives painting together in their farmhouse studio in Connecticut.

artwork: Kay Sage - "At the Appointed Time", 1942 - Oil on canvas - 32" x 38" - Collection of the Newark Museum. On view at  Katonah Museum in The Surreal Worlds of Kay Sage and Yves Tanguy" until September 18th.

Accredited by the American Association of Museums, the Katonah Museum of Art originates ten to twelve exhibitions annually, covering a broad range of art and humanities topics. As a non-collecting Museum, the KMA has the opportunity to develop an aspect of art historical concern from a focused and original point of view, and presents it within a fully developed educational context. Committed to making itself accessible and relevant to its community, the Museum offers lectures, symposia, films, workshops, concerts and other events for a general audience; and presents innovative and substantive programs for its member schools. The Children’s Learning Center, which is open to the public free of charge, is the only interactive space in the community where children can come on a daily basis to explore, interpret, and create art. The Katonah Museum of Art serves a primary population of 850,000, with an annual attendance of approximately 40,000 people. Visit the museum’s website at …