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Title: Imagining the in-between : the art of Dorothea Tanning
Author: Carruthers, Victoria
ISNI:       0000 0004 2734 8920
Awarding Body: University of Essex
Current Institution: University of Essex
Date of Award: 2012
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This thesis examines the extensive and diverse body of work of American artist Dorothea Tanning (1910 - 2012). Her oeuvre - spanning seven decades of experimentation with a wide range of media across the visual and literary arts - was influenced by Surrealism, the highly charged psychodramas of gothic/fantasy fiction and by the physical and imaginative intensities of her own childhood experiences. Tanning's work engages with a number of recurring interests and themes: an exploration of childhood and feminine subjectivity; the portrayal of domestic, interior spaces in which reality and fantasy converge and strange occurrences are folded into otherwise ordinary spaces; an obsession with sensation, movement, music, states of flux; and, the repetition of motifs such as doors, wallpaper and unfurling fabric that symbolise transformative thresholds. Drawing on original interview material recorded with the artist from 2000 to 2009 and a wide variety of theoretical frameworks (including music, literary and psychoanalytic theory), I argue here, that we can identify a common thread running through all of Tanning's work: an obsession with thresholds, liminal and transitional spaces that I refer to as the in-between. Further, I suggest that the work is not merely to be understood as a detached representation of experience but seeks to evoke the in- between itself as a physical or emotional state, particularly as felt through a feminine subjectivity
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available