Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza - Inicio

Versión española

Buy tickets

The Illusion of the American Frontier

From 03 November 2015 to 07 February 2016

Early booking is recommended

Edward S. Curtis
An Oasis in the Badlands (detail), 1905
Photography, gelatin silver. 15.2 x 20.2 cm
Prints & Photographs Division, Library of Congress, Washington, D. C.

Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection

Yves Tanguy
Imaginary Numbers
Oil on canvas
99 x 80 cm
Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid
Numero de inventario
INV. Nr. 768 (1973.12)

More information about this work

During the last years of Yves Tanguy’s life, his painting became darker and less poetic. In Imaginary Numbers, considered by some to be his last work, the earlier biomorphic forms become petrified and are no longer isolated, forming compact groups of geological formations. These ambiguous monuments, which some authors link to the sculptures of Henry Moore and Hans Arp, may be interpreted as a premonition of death.

As in Multiplication of Arches, a painting dating from the same year and acquired by The Museum of Modern Art in New York on the occasion of the major exhibition of the painter’s works at Wadsworth Atheneum in Hartford in 1954, the strange and inexorable sea of stones becomes a terrifying labyrinth that defies any hope of escaping.

The work belonged to the dealer Pierre Matisse (1900–1989), the son of Henri Matisse, who opened a gallery in New York in 1931, and from 1958 it was owned by the great historian of the modern movement and curator of The Museum of Modern Art, William Rubin (1927–2006), until entering the Thyssen-Bornemisza collection in 1973.

Paloma Alarcó

© 2009 Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza

Paseo del Prado 8, 28014 Madrid, España

We use our own cookies and those of third-parties to analyze the use of our website and display personalized advertising. If you continue browsing, we will consider that you consented to its use. For more information see our Cookie Policy.