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The French-American painter Yves Tanguy was born in Paris and self-trained as an artist. He became committed to Surrealism after he saw two paintings by de Chirico in a shop window, and he joined the Surrealist group in 1925.

Tanguy's signature paintings of fantastic bone and amoebae-shaped stone-like objects arranged in imaginary landscapes were well received. Painted in great detail, these otherworldly forms look credible in a haunted dream world.

In 1939, Tanguy immigrated to the United States where he lived out the rest of his life, becoming an American citizen in 1948. In New York, his palette intensified as the dusty grays from the earlier work takes on richer shades and the forms become more volumetric and more 'meta' or 'para' human.