Yves Tanguy

Le Ruban des excès [The Ribbon of Excess] (1932)

About this artwork

This is an important work in Tanguy's oeuvre, marking a shift from the spacious 'underwater landscapes' of the late 1920s to a world packed with intricately-drawn, bean-like forms. These shapes sit like a sculpted frieze at the bottom of the painting. Tanguy's works of the 1930s, in which weird objects cast long, hard shadows, suggest desert or Martian landscapes. The strange geological features Tanguy saw on a trip to Africa in 1930 may have influenced this change in direction. His friendship with sculptors such as Giacometti and Arp may also be relevant.

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  • title: Le Ruban des excès [The Ribbon of Excess]
  • accession number: GMA 4084
  • artist: Yves TanguyFrench (1900 - 1955)
  • gallery: On Loan
  • object type: Painting
  • subject: Surrealism
  • date created: 1932
  • measurements: 35.00 x 45.20 cm (framed: 52.20 x 65.50 x 6.60 cm)
  • credit line: Accepted in lieu of tax and allocated to the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art 1998
  • copyright: © ADAGP, Paris and DACS, London 2016.
  • photographer: Antonia Reeve

Yves Tanguy

Yves Tanguy

Tanguy was born in Paris. He had no formal art training but decided to become a painter in 1923 after seeing two paintings by the Italian metaphysical painter Giorgio de Chirico in the window of an art gallery, while riding on a bus. He had previously been in the merchant navy until 1922. Tanguy became a member of the surrealist group in 1925 and had his first solo exhibition just two years later. By this time he had already developed a distinctive style of painting, which featured strange landscapes inhabited by cell-like shapes. In 1939 Tanguy moved to America and became an American citizen eight years later.