You are whatever a moon has always meant and whatever a sun will always sing. — e. e. cummings
Marion Morehouse by E.E.Cummings, his last lover and possibly his third wife. Marion was a fashion model, often photographed by the great Edward Steichen, and a photographer herself.
[i carry your heart with me(i carry it in] by e. e. cummings
i carry your heart with me(i carry it in my heart)i am never without it(anywhere i go you go,my dear;and whatever is done by only me is your doing,my darling) i fear no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true) and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant and whatever a sun will always sing is you
here is the deepest secret nobody knows (here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows higher than soul can hope or mind can hide) and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart
Listen: there’s a hell of a good universe next door; let’s go. — e e cummings
Birthday of American poet E.E.Cummings, who also did some painting :) I like his landscapes the best but also some portraits, including self portrait with a notebook and the portrait of his mother that I am sharing. In 1926, when he was 32, his parents had a car accident, in which his father had tragically lost his life. His mother however survived. This is how he described in a lecture given at Harvard 25 years after :
A locomotive cut the car in half, killing my father instantly. When two brakemen jumped from the halted train, they saw a woman standing – dazed but erect – beside a mangled machine; with blood spouting (as the older said to me) out of her head. One of her hands (the younger added) kept feeling her dress, as if trying to discover why it was wet. These men took my sixty-six year old mother by the arms and tried to lead her toward a nearby farmhouse; but she threw them off, strode straight to my father’s body, and directed a group of scared spectators to cover him. When this had been done (and only then) she let them lead her away. from - i: six nonlectures series
You have been friends with so many important cultural figures. May I ask you to play a little pseudo-surrealist free-association game? How about your husband Max Ernst?
His humor. Ironic, amused, bemused. We laughed a lot. Even today, I have to keep from finding things absurd, which mostly they are. At the same time I’m crying my eyes out.
How about André Breton, founder of surrealism and dadaism?
Severely: “Dorothea, do you wear that low neckline just to provoke men?”
A neat little package — of dynamite.
The courtly love of the 13th century troubadours.
How could anyone resist his bardic exuberance, his dithyrambs?
One time when I was at his house, Jhuan-les-pins, for an afternoon visit, we stood at the kitchen door yard for farewells and he broke off the last flower from an old rose bush and handed it to me. How would you feel?
― Dorothea Tanning in an interview for Salon, in 2002
It’s about confrontation. Everyone believes he/she is his/her drama. While they don’t always have giant sunflowers (most aggressive of flowers) to contend with, there are always stairways, hallways, even very private theatres where the suffocations and the finalities are being played out, the blood red carpet or cruel yellows, the attacker, the delighted victim … ― Dorothea Tanning in a letter
Eine Kleine Nachtmusik was made while Tanning was staying with her companion, the artist Max Ernst, in Sedona, Arizona. It was their first trip to this area in which they would later live for several years. In her memoir, Birthday, Tanning recalls how Mozart was a favourite topic of conversation at that time, and Eine Kleine Nachtmusik is titled after one of one of his most well-known serenades (Birthday, p.85). By the door of the ranch Tanning planted some sunflower seeds and she became fascinated with these plants. She told the author that she saw the sunflower in Eine Kleine Nachtmusik as ‘a symbol of all the things that youth has to face and to deal with,’ and has said that it represented the ‘never-ending battle we wage with unknown forces, the forces that were there before our civilisation’. The apparent intervention of unexplained or supernatural forces in Eine Kleine Nachtmusik recalls characteristics of the Gothic novels that Tanning read in her youth, and which were admired by many of the artists and writers of the surrealist group with whom she associated in the 1940s and beyond.
Man Ray thought it was funny. With the intention to marry, we had come to Hollywood, where he lived. Getting married in Hollywood! We all laughed about it, but the next morning he said, “Maybe we’ll go too. If Max can do it so can I.” And added, ruefully, “Though I’ve never done anything so rectangular.”
On October 24, 1946, therefore, a double wedding in Beverly Hills united, in the eyes of the law, Max and Dorothea, and Man and Julie. There. It’s said and done. Painless, forgettable, but fun.
― Dorothea Tanning - from Between Lives: An Artist and Her World. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 2001, p. 139.
Man Ray, Juliet Browner, Max Ernst & Dorothea Tanning 1946
Well, excuse me for this, but “Birthday” is among other dreamlike things, a topless self-portrait. Is it fair to say that at that time, 1942, people thought you were immodest?
Well, I was aware it was pretty daring, but that’s not why I did it. It was a kind of a statement, wanting the utter truth, and bareness was necessary. My breasts didn’t amount to much. Quite unremarkable. And besides, when you are feeling very solemn and painting very intensively, you think only of what you are trying to communicate.
So what have you tried to communicate as an artist? What were your goals, and have you achieved them?
I’d be satisfied with having suggested that there is more than meets the eye. ― Dorothea Tanning in an interview for Salon, in 2002