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Contorsión topológica de figura femenina convirtiéndose en violonchelo (Topological Contortion of a Female Figure Becoming a Violoncello)

  • Date: 
    1983
  • Technique: 
    Oil on canvas
  • Dimensions: 
    60 x 63,5 cm
  • Category: 
    Painting
  • Entry date: 
    1990
  • Register number: 
    AS11179
  • Salvador Dalí Bequest, 1990

In 1983, whilst a major retrospective was being organised in Madrid’s Spanish Museum of Contemporary Art, and subsequently in the Palacio de Pedralbes in Barcelona, the artist worked on what would be the final works in his career. The pieces encapsulate the inner turmoil he suffered after the death of Gala and his distress at facing his final and definitive destiny. This mood is particularly discernable in the oil paintings where the protagonists are distorted objects and wildly deformed bodies under the trance of metamorphosis processes, drawing inspiration from René Thom’s “Catastrophe Theory”. In these motifs, and in the vehemence of representation, the artist appears to recover the cannibalisms of the 1930s. Topological Contortion of a Female Figure Becoming a Violoncello is an example of how Dalí conveyed this cathartic process in his paintings. In Dalí, la obra y el hombre (Dalí, the Work and the Man, Tusquets, 1984), Robert Descharnes wrote: “This canvas takes inspiration from the suffering and motoric strains that Dalí experienced during his illness. The painter also states that he is represented in this canvas.” The reference is further reinforced by Dalí’s words in a conversation with Jean François Fogel, quoted in the same publication: “It is no longer imagination serving whims and dreams, and nor is it automatism; I am now painting meanings extracted directly from my own existence, from my illness or from profound memories.”

Ruth Gallego Fernández

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