About the Catalogue
In 1963, a catalogue raisonné of Yves Tanguy’s oils and gouaches was compiled by the artist’s wife (Kay Sage Tanguy) and published by Pierre Matisse, Yves Tanguy’s longtime gallerist1. In his review of this catalogue, Dennis Farr commented: “A few drawings and book illustrations are reproduced which make one hope that a more extensive publication devoted to this not inconsiderable aspect of Tanguy’s work will one day appear”2. The web site: YVES TANGUY: A Catalogue of Drawings is intended to address this neglected aspect of the artist’s oeuvre.
The full online catalogue will include both images of drawings by Yves Tanguy and those drawings attributed to him. For each image, there is an associated information sheet containing the title, creation date, dimensions, medium, inscriptions, provenance, literature, exhibition history and other information about the drawing. Also accompanying the catalogue will be several appendices containing additional information about the artist’s drawings.
To date, I have catalogued more than 1,400 drawings by or attributed to Tanguy. I have researched more than 2,500 exhibition and auction catalogues as well as other reference materials and archives containing works by Tanguy. Information about each drawing has been organized and stored in a relational database (FileMaker Pro), the information from which will populate the Tanguy drawings website. The code for the fully functional online website has been written and I am endeavoring to complete enough research to bring version 1 of this catalogue online. However, the pandemic has closed libraries and slowed my research. Thus, I currently anticipate that the new website will be available here within the next 18-24 months and then it will be regularly expanded and updated as previously unknown works emerge from private collections into public exhibitions and auctions and new information about his known drawings becomes available.
For purposes of this catalogue, I have defined “drawings” as works executed on a variety of supports with one or more media where the use of the line is the primary method of graphic representation. These drawings may or may not contain color. When color has been added to a drawing by the artist, I have generally included in this catalogue only works where the colored media does not cover the entire support.
This Catalogue is one of inclusion rather than exclusion. I have chosen to include a section devoted to drawings attributed to Tanguy that, in my opinion, differ significantly from other works by him or contain anomalies that need further explanation. I believe these drawings will require additional research and documentation before they should be considered works by Tanguy. Another section will include works attributed to Tanguy that are fakes, forgeries and misattributions. Also listed in another section will be drawings mentioned in texts, exhibitions or auctions for which there is no image available. As these works are matched to drawings with images using the available data, these works will be removed from this section.
Users of this catalogue should understand that I do not sell works of art, nor do I have a financial interest in, or affiliation with, any organization or group that buys or sells works of art. My interest in the drawings of Yves Tanguy is exclusively academic. The purpose of my research is to compile information about Tanguy’s drawings and to make this information available without charge to scholars, researchers, educators, collectors, galleries, auction houses, museums and other institutions.
My hope is that this project will promote a greater appreciation of Tanguy’s graphic work and of his place in twentieth century art. If you have any questions or comments about this catalogue, please contact me at: YvesTanguyDrawings@gmail.com.
William E. Duncan, MD, PhD
Founder and Principal – YvesTanguyDrawings, LLC
June 25, 2021
2 Farr, Denis. The Burlington Magazine, no. 108, February 1966, p. 99.