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Explosions of Fire

Yves Tanguy (American (born France), 1900–1955)

Explosions of Fire exemplifies Yves Tanguy’s vision as a painter of eerie landscapes stretching into an infinite distance and populated by minutely rendered but unclassifiable organisms and objects. Tanguy’s forms became more flinty or rocklike over the course of the 1930s. After the artist’s emigration from wartime France to the United States at the end of that decade, his compositions grew more densely populated with complex forms built from smaller pieces of varying shape and size. These forms also gained a looming verticality, enhanced by using the bottom edge to crop them part of the way up. The two tallest vertical forms in Explosions of Fire—one looking like it’s made of marble and having many rounded segments and the other flat and jet-black with a beaklike top projection—have the appearance of sentinels, an ominous figural resonance frequently found in Tanguy’s work in this period.

Object Details

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