Double Solitaire: The Surreal Worlds of Kay Sage and Yves Tanguy
As husband and wife, Yves Tanguy and Kay Sage were inseparable, accompanying each other everywhere. They shared the same Connecticut studio and communicated only in French. Despite this, they did not want to be considered a “team of painters” and refused to exhibit together. Double Solitaire: The Surreal Worlds of Kay Sage and Yves Tanguy integrates, for the first time and in one space, the paintings they created during their 15 years together.
The exhibition demonstrates how the art of Tanguy, one of the original French Surrealists, and that of Sage, one of the first American Surrealists, developed and changed, and where each artist was inspired by the other’s vision. Initially, Tanguy’s influence on Sage was stronger, as she was just beginning to paint professionally when they met. His paintings from the early 1940s initiate a new direction in her work, a turn towards the geometric imagery that became the hallmark of her mature style. But Sage’s art also affected Tanguy’s, something that has heretofore gone unrecognized. Distinct changes in Tanguy’s paintings—including shifts in compositional strategies, the adoption of a muted color palette, and the introduction of a dominant “figure”—came directly from working in close proximity to his wife.
Double Solitaire features approximately 25 paintings by each artist, dating from 1937 to 1958, as well as selected ephemera, providing a window into the couple’s personal lives.