Born in Paris, France on January 5, 1900, Raymond Georges
Yves Tanguy was the son of a retired Navy captain. At the
age of eight, his father died, forcing his mother to return
to her home in Locronan, Finistère, where Tanguy was raised
by various relatives.
a stint in the merchant marine and service in the Army, Tanguy
returned to Paris. It was there that he first saw a painting
by Giorgio de Chirico, an Italian-Greek surreal artist. The
painting inspired him to make his own attempt at painting,
despite his lack of formal training in the art.
1924, through friend Jacques Prévert, Tanguy was introduced
to Andre Bréton and the circle of surrealist artists, and
he held his first solo exhibition in Paris in 1927. He quickly
adopted the lifestyle of the starving Bohemian artist, and
this eventually led to the break-up of his first marriage.
It was during this period, however, that he saw the work of
artist Kay Sage, and he quickly fell in love with the art
and the artist, leading to his second marriage.
World War II, Sage returned to her native New York, and because
he had been deemed unfit for military service, Tanguy was
able to join her. In 1948, Tanguy became a naturalized American
citizen, and he and his wife converted an old Connecticut
farmhouse into an artists’ studio.
January 15, 1955, Tanguy suffered a stroke that claimed his
life at his home in Woodbury, Connecticut. Not wishing to
be parted from his wife and soul mate even in death, Tanguy’s
cremated remains were preserved until Sage’s passing in 1963.
It was upon her death that the artist Pierre Matisse scattered
the ashes of the devoted couple on a beach in Brittany.
work has a unique, nonrepresentational style of surrealism.
He was known for his vast landscapes, limited color palette,
and abstract shapes.