DALÍ. ULTRALOCAL / ULTRAGLOBAL
DALÍ. ULTRALOCAL / ULTRAGLOBAL
With the collaboration of Chus Martínez, this exhibition presents a selection of six works rediscovering Salvador Dalí’s artistic universe in the light of two aspects which appear to be difficult to reconcile at first sight, but which are nevertheless embodied in his work and his character: his cosmopolitanism (notably his international experiences in Paris – where he discovered Surrealism – and the United States, where he collaborated with personalities such as Walt Disney) and his grounding in the singular culture of his native Catalonia and its poetic landscapes.
Indeed, the artist proves that it is precisely his cultural distinctiveness and the demands of his roots which made his universalism possible – this ambivalence releasing creativity: “Everything that is contradictory creates life”.
Chus Martínez confirms this: “Dalí wants everything from us when we are in front of his work. His way of making art calls for a reinvention and constant revision of the order of ideas, values, beliefs. The challenge consists of giving life to poiesis, capable of always remaining open to flexible causality, open to the accidents of life, on the one hand, and on the other hand to the changes that art and society experience over the succession of time that we call history”.
“Port Lligat, symbol of a life of asceticism, of isolation… It was there that I learned to impoverish myself, to limit and file down my thinking in order that it might become effective as an axe. A life that was hard, without metaphor or alcohol, a life marked by the light of eternity”.
The exhibition evokes the indissoluble relationship that links the artist to his native land and which impregnates his work: the rocks at Cadaqués and Port Lligat cove inspired the main environment of his artistic universe, whether the works were created in Spain, France or the United States. We can cite, for example, the rare oil on copper Nus dans un paysage de Cap de Creus (Nudes in a landscape of Cap de Creus) (1970), which is infused with this eternal and ultra-analytical light, or the striking Desert Watch (1975), which represents a Catalan peasant with the traditional barretina in front of an immense giant mermaid-Madonna with a melting clock face. Dalí links local traditions to the vernacular culture of this haven of peace thanks to his hallucinatory imagination.
The exhibition also demonstrates the Catalan artist’s attachment to Paris and the United States. The French capital was the first city in which he travelled, became acquainted with brilliant minds like Picasso, Breton and Éluard, and where he joined the Surrealist movement. A crucial movement for the evolution of the artist’s work, this period is represented here by Objet scatalogique à fonctionnement symbolique (Le Soulier de Gala) (Scatological object functioning symbolically – Gala’s shoe), a mysterious object consisting of a red shoe, a glass of milk, sugar lumps, a matchbox and pubic hairs.
The original 1931 copy (now lost) was recognized as the first Surrealist assembly created by the artist.
Dalí regularly visited the United States. Starting in 1934, for 40 years the artist spent every winter in New York, resolutely awaited by the local population which recognized and worshipped him. On the other side of the country, in Hollywood, he met Walt Disney, who hired him to work on the “Destino” short film project, of which a very complete 1945 sketch is presented here.