View and zoom into this image on our new collection website
Le Ruban des excès [The Ribbon of Excess] 1932

Not on display

This is an important work in Tanguy's oeuvre, marking a shift from the spacious 'underwater landscapes' of the late 1920s to a world packed with intricately-drawn, bean-like forms. These shapes sit like a sculpted frieze at the bottom of the painting. Tanguy's works of the 1930s, in which weird objects cast long, hard shadows, suggest desert or Martian landscapes. The strange geological features Tanguy saw on a trip to Africa in 1930 may have influenced this change in direction. His friendship with sculptors such as Giacometti and Arp may also be relevant.

Glossary Open


Derived from an element in classical architecture, it is used broadly to refer to any decorative horizontal band running along a wall or piece of furniture.


French term which is used to refer to an artist's total body of work.

Frieze, Oeuvre


  • Acc. No. GMA 4084
  • Medium Oil on wood
  • Size 35.00 x 45.20 cm
  • Credit Accepted in lieu of tax and allocated to the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art 1998