The Easel

Archives: Jackson Arn

17th May 2022

Swirls of flesh: Dorothea Tanning at Kasmin Gallery

A recent biography of Tanning claimed that she occupies “a singular position in the history of modern art”. Some reviews of her current show in New York are similarly enthusiastic. But not all. The linked piece suggests that her early Surrealist works overstate her whole of career achievement. “On the whole, her efforts amount to overtures more than full symphonies”. And what’s the problem with that? “Great becomes meaningless when nothing can be merely good.”