Yves Tanguy Le Ruban des excès [The Ribbon of Excess] 1932 © ADAGP, Paris and DACS, London 2022.


Born 1900
Died 1955
Nationality French
Birth place Paris
Death place Woodbury

Tanguy was born in Paris. He had no formal art training but decided to become a painter in 1923 after seeing two paintings by the Italian metaphysical painter Giorgio de Chirico in the window of an art gallery, while riding on a bus. He had previously been in the merchant navy until 1922. Tanguy became a member of the surrealist group in 1925 and had his first solo exhibition just two years later. By this time he had already developed a distinctive style of painting, which featured strange landscapes inhabited by cell-like shapes. In 1939 Tanguy moved to America and became an American citizen eight years later.

Glossary terms

Glossary terms


A literary and artistic movement that sought to challenge conventions through the exploration of the subconscious mind, invoking the power of dreams and elements of chance. It is now regarded as one of the most radical movements of the twentieth century.