Kay Sage spent most of the 1920s and 1930s in Europe. Upon her arrival in Paris in 1937, she joined the Surrealist movement and met her future husband, artist Yves Tanguy (American (born France), 1900 - 1955). But it was back home in the United States, during the 1940s, that she produced her strongest work.
In Unicorns Came Down to the Sea, an enigmatic landscape is seen obliquely from a large window with drapery of muted reds, yellows, and blues hanging from a scaffolded archway. Though the gradated background of the painting evokes her husband’s neither-sky-nor-sea landscapes, Sage’s characteristically precise architectural structures signal an entirely new addition to Surrealism’s imaginary built environment.