description of Arrières-pensées (Second Thoughts) by Yves Tanguy

This three foot tall, two-and-a-half foot wide oil painting features unusual forms in a vast open space. The strange forms occupy the bottom third of the canvas, while the upper two thirds is a great expanse of misty violet haze. In this dream-like world, the mysterious forms cast shadows on the cloudy gray ground, which transitions into the pastel sky without a distinct horizon line. The forms themselves are unique and bizarre, painted with crisp detail and an opalescent palette. Some have biomorphic elements that resemble undulating seashells or melted plastic, while others have features that suggest blown glass and corrugated tin. Several of the forms are linked by taut threads or wires, though no pattern is readily discernible.

Yves Tanguy, Arrières-pensées (Second Thoughts), 1939
Yves Tanguy, Arrières-pensées (Second Thoughts), 1939; oil on canvas, 36 1/8 in. x 29 1/4 in. (91.77 cm x 74.3 cm); Collection SFMOMA, William L. Gerstle Collection, William L. Gerstle Fund purchase; © Estate of Yves Tanguy / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Yves Tanguy, Arrières-pensées (Second Thoughts), 1939

Artwork Info

Artwork title
Arrières-pensées (Second Thoughts)
Artist name
Yves Tanguy
Date created
1939
Classification
painting
Medium
oil on canvas
Dimensions
36 1/8 in. x 29 1/4 in. (91.77 cm x 74.3 cm)
Date acquired
1952
Credit
Collection SFMOMA
William L. Gerstle Collection, William L. Gerstle Fund purchase
Copyright
© Estate of Yves Tanguy / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Permanent URL
https://www.sfmoma.org/artwork/52.4155
Artwork status
On view on floor 2 as part of Open Ended: Painting and Sculpture Since 1900

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