Tannings powerful, erotically charged work, presented a kind of alternative universe, peopled with mythical beings, often part human, part animal or object, engaged in enigmatic dramas.
It evoked the terrors and delights of childhood imaginings and seems to operate at the interface between reality and dreams. Although the themes and concerns of her paintings had remained constant, the precision and detail of her earlier work gradually gave way to a more exuberant and liberated style which fully conveyed Tanning’s energy and painterly skills.
The exhibition was organised by Malmö Konsthall in close collaboration with the artist. It comprised a selection of paintings, soft sculpture and works on paper made over the last five decades, from the famous self-portrait Birthday, 1942, which may be said to have launched her career, right up to the very latest collages and drawings. This was Tanning’s first solo exhibition in a public gallery in Britain and provided a long-overdue opportunity to gain an overview of the work of this remarkable artist.