Yves Tanguy

Dehors [Outside] (1929)

About this artwork

This is one of the largest and most impressive of Tanguy's early paintings. Tanguy's family came from the Finistère area of Brittany, and as a child he spent his summer holidays there. The prehistoric stone monuments left a strong impression on him, and they seem to reappear, as if in dream-like scenes, in his paintings. The artist's early career in the merchant navy may be relevant, as the scene suggests an underwater landscape. The strange symbols are similar to those found in the work of Miró, who often took the birth of the world as a subject for his paintings.

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  • title: Dehors [Outside]
  • accession number: GMA 3893
  • artist: Yves TanguyFrench (1900 - 1955)
  • gallery: On Loan
  • object type: Painting
  • subject: Dreams, illusions and memory Surrealism
  • medium: Oil on canvas
  • date created: 1929
  • measurements: 116.50 x 89.50 cm (framed: 124.00 x 96.00 x 5.00 cm)
  • credit line: Purchased with the support of the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Art Fund 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.