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Art History Guardian Angels Dorothea Tanning was born August 25 1910 in Galesburg Illinois She was an artist from a very young age showing interest in her free time as she worked first in a library then doing school publications and finally a booth at Chicagos World Fair in 1931 She moved to New York and found work as a freelance commercial artist By 1936 her career had begun discovering dada and surrealism at the Museum of Modern Art in New York In 1946 she painted Guardian Angels In an iconographic analysis of a Tanning painting the viewer is easily lost in the surrealism I am no exception The surrealism of her pieces has left me with more questions than answers but some conclusions can be drawn through a formal analysis and educated guesses When I tried to understand Tannings intent from my normal point of view I only noticed how it was unlike reality a dream I hardly can understand my own dreams much less someone elses so I changed my point of view I attempted to enter Tannings realm of expression Inside I found the depth of Tannings perception a work of detailed symbols and emotion The first thing I noticed in Guardian Angels was the overall feeling I got from the painting I noticed its overall coldness and solitude I believe this was the general intent Tanning had when she made the background blue and green the top of the painting is the background resembling ice creeping forward like a glacier of sheets over the beds This creates such a cold lonely overtone that Tanning probably felt as she painted The Guardian Angels If I look deep into the image as though I were standing on the sheets I can see the coldness surrounding me with nowhere to run the next in line to be carried off This effect was reached deliberately by Tanning with her use
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