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Confidential Evaluation of Your Kay Sage

Kay Sage

A noted surrealist painter of dream-image landscapes with muted colors, architectural forms, and mood suggestive of mystery and potentially weird happenings to come, Sage had a dramatic, tumultuous life. Her artistic career was overshadowed by her well-known husband, Yves Tanguy, and like so many women artists of the early 20th century, she became more accepted in later years.

She was raised in New York where her father was a state senator. Her parents divorced, and she traveled extensively in Europe with her mother and attended the prestigious Brearley and Foxcroft schools in England.

At age twenty five, she went to Italy to recover from a love affair with an older man and began teaching herself to paint. From 1925 to 1935, she was married to Italian Prince Ranieri de San Faustino, but this union ended in divorce. She returned to Paris and resumed her painting career and became involved with surrealist painters including Yves Tanguy, whom she married in 1940.

The couple moved to Woodbury, Connecticut but kept in close touch with their Paris friends and helped many of them escape during World War II. During her marriage to Tanguy, she did what has come to be regarded as some of her best work.

In 1955, her husband died, and she suffered depression and became totally reclusive. Four years later, she attempted suicide and then succeeded in 1963, shooting herself in the heart.

Source includes:
“American Women Artists” by Charlotte Streifer Rubinstein

Biography from the Archives of AskART.