After the nephew filed a report, Inspector Michael Dietz reached out to the airport’s waste management company in the hopes of catching the painting before it met destruction. In the bottom of a recycling bin, they found the painting in its cardboard packaging, unharmed. Valued at over $300,000, the painting’s owner was no doubt relieved.
The painting, which has not been identified, is typical of Tanguy’s style, showing an abstracted landscape in shades of grey populated by geometric shapes, which create a haunting dream-like scene. Born in 1900 in France, Tanguy was a contemporary of Salvador Dalí, Joan Miró, Man Ray, and others. With his American wife, artist Kay Sage, Tanguy fled Europe at the onset of World War II, settling in Connecticut. There the couple lived and worked until his untimely death in 1955 after a major stroke.
Tanguy’s work is housed in major museums around the globe, and this recently rescued work, having narrowly avoided the literal dustbin of history, can now be enjoyed by future generations.