Yves Tanguy

Jamais Plus [Never Again] (1939)

About this artwork

'Never Again' was painted shortly before Tanguy left France for New York in November 1939. He took this painting with him to sell to an art dealer in America. The small, individualised amoeba-like forms in the foreground are typical of the shapes Tanguy included at that time in his paintings. It is difficult to determine what these shapes are intended to represent; however, the idea of metamorphosis, of one shape changing into another, is central to Surrealism. The meticulous style of the abstract forms contrasts with the illusionistic background, in which it is difficult to determine depth.

see media
  • title: Jamais Plus [Never Again]
  • accession number: GMA 4085
  • artist: Yves TanguyFrench (1900 - 1955)
  • gallery: On Loan
  • object type: Painting
  • subject: Surrealism
  • medium: Oil on canvas
  • date created: 1939
  • measurements: 92.00 x 73.00 cm (framed: 104.30 x 86.00 x 5.80 cm)
  • credit line: Bequeathed by Gabrielle Keiller 1995
  • 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.