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1952, Dorothea Tanning

Some Roses and Their Phantoms represents a domestic world transformed by mysterious eruptions and inhabited by unnamable creatures. The table top setting, with its crisp white tablecloth and marks of ironed folds, suggests a safe world of bourgeois ritual. A recurrent motif, the white table cloth can also be found in other works of the same period, for example, Poached Trout, 1952 (private collection), and Portrait de famille, 1954 (Musée National d’Art Moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris), and later in Notes for an Apocalypse, 1974 (Mimi Johnson, New York). The theme of domesticity is continued in the suggestion in the foreground of a plain white plate, but this appears to lie under, or more strangely to merge into, the exquisitely painted cloth. (Jennifer Mundy)

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