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Salvador Dalí (1904 - 1989)

Lifespan: 1904 - 1989

Related: Spain - modern art - surrealism

Although in popular culture, particularly in the United States of America, surrealism is often identified with the paintings of Salvador Dali, Dali was in fact expelled from the surrealist movement in 1939 for his far right-wing tendencies, and after that time his painting has little significance for surrealism, moving farther and farther away from the movement. [Sept 2006]

Dalí (2004) - Dawn Ades [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

Key works: Lobster Telephone, black and red (1936) - Salvador Dalí [Google gallery] * Mae West Lips Sofa (1936-1938)


Salvador Domenec Felip Jacint Dalí Domenech (May 11, 1904 - January 23, 1989) was an important Catalan-Spanish painter, best known for his surrealist works. Dalí's work is noted for its striking combination of bizarre dreamlike images with excellent draftsmanship and painterly skills influenced by the Renaissance masters. Dalí was an artist of great talent and imagination. He had an admitted love of doing unusual things to draw attention to himself, which sometimes irked those who loved his art as much as it annoyed his critics, since his eccentric theatrical manner sometimes overshadowed his artwork in public attention.--http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salvador_Dali [Jan 2005] --http://www.wikipedia.org/wiki/Surrealism

The Persistence of Memory (1931) - Salvador Dalí

The Persistence of Memory (1931) - Salvador Dalí [Google gallery]

The Persistence of Memory (1931) is one of the most famous paintings by artist Salvador Dalí. The painting has also been known as Soft Watches. It is currently displayed in the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York City.

The well-known surrealistic piece, introduced the image of the soft melting pocket watch.

Dalí began the painting with one of his favorite themes, a landscape of the seashore of Catalonia at Cape Creus. He was moved to include the famous melting-clock imagery after a vision he had following a snack of Camembert cheese — the clocks, therefore, have the texture of the soft cheese. The painting shows four soft watches, one of which has a fly on it and another is being devoured by ants. This is widely seen as a commentary that time is less rigid than people usually assume.

In the center of the picture, under one of the watches, is a distorted human face in profile. This face also appears in Dalí's earlier work The Great Masturbator.

The painting was first publicly exhibited in New York in 1932, and Dalí sold it for $250 .

The painting soon became the best-known of Dalí's works, and has frequently been reproduced in postcards, posters, and other media. By 1938 it was so much a part of popular culture that versions of Persistence appear in the background of the animated cartoon Porky in Wackyland.

Dalí returned to the theme of this painting with the variation The Disintegration of the Persistence of Memory (1954), showing his earlier famous work falling apart into component parts and a series of rectangles; this work is now in the Dalí Museum in St. Petersburg, Florida. Dalí also produced various lithographs and sculptures on the theme of soft watches late in his career.--http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Persistence_of_Memory [Feb 2006]

See also: Salvador Dalí - 1931 - Surrealism

Spellbound (1945) - Alfred Hitchcock

Spellbound (1945), a movie directed by Alfred Hitchcock, tells the story of the new head of a mental asylum who turns out not to be what he claims to be. Hitchcock brought in artist Salvador Dalí to conceive certain scenes of mental delusion, which Selznick hated.

Although much of Dalí's work was used, one dream sequence depicting Bergman turning into a statue of the Greek goddess Diana was cut. There has been a lot of fan interest in restoring this material, but the footage apparently no longer exists (there are, however, some production stills of the sequence). --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spellbound_%281945_film%29 [Jul 2005]

Mae West as seen by Dalí

Dali explored the image of May West in a number of works: Face of Mae West (can be used as Surrealist apartment) (1934-35) and Mae West Lips Sofa (1936-1938) being the best-known.

Mae West from the cover of Mae West: An Icon in Black and White by Jill Watts
image sourced here.

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