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Jamais Plus [Never Again] 1939

Not on display

'Never Again' was painted shortly before Tanguy left France for New York in November 1939. He took this painting with him to sell to an art dealer in America. The small, individualised amoeba-like forms in the foreground are typical of the shapes Tanguy included at that time in his paintings. It is difficult to determine what these shapes are intended to represent; however, the idea of metamorphosis, of one shape changing into another, is central to Surrealism. The meticulous style of the abstract forms contrasts with the illusionistic background, in which it is difficult to determine depth.

Glossary Open

Abstract art

Art in which there is no attempt to represent anything existing in the world, particularly used of the 20th century onwards. ‘Abstraction’ refers to the process of making images that may in part derive from the visible world but which are reduced to basic formal elements.


A literary and artistic movement founded by the poet André Breton in 1924. Many of the associated artists, such as Max Ernst and Jean Arp, had previously been involved with Dadaism. The movement sought to challenge conventions through the exploration of the subconscious mind, invoking the power of dreams and elements of chance. Cultural hierarchies were challenged by the combination of diverse elements in collages and sculptural assemblages. The movement is also notable for the collaborations between artists and writers evident in the Surrealists' many publications.

Abstract art, Surrealism


  • Acc. No. GMA 4085
  • Medium Oil on canvas
  • Size 92.00 x 73.00 cm
  • Credit Bequeathed by Gabrielle Keiller 1995