Birthday by Dorothea Tanning
Birthday is the long-awaited memoir of international artist Dorothea Tanning, whose life with the famed surrealist Max Ernst spanned continents and decades. Theirs was a relationship which began in the midst of an art world embroiled in mid-century ferment and continued until Max Ernst's death, thirty-four years later. Marcel Duchamp, Yves Tanguy, Tristan Tzara, Man Ray, André Breton, and Paul Eluard are some of the friends, acquaintances, and confidants whose lives intertwined with theirs. Birthday is the poetic, surreal recounting of those years. It is also the chronicle of a woman undaunted by the glory of a famous husband. In Birthday, Tanning evokes the surrealist vision, painting with her "ruminations, souvenirs, anecdotes, conversations, flights, 'captures' and voices," a kaleidoscopic world of constantly shifting realities, as rich and dream-laden as are her paintings. In Tanning's writings on Max Ernst, she has, "brushed aside for a little the enigma that he presented to most people," and painted him in the clear colors of affirmation, humor, great tenderness, and love.
Published by The Lapis Press, San Francisco, California, 1986, 185 pages, 9 1/4 in. x 6 1/4 in., hardcover