This exhibition, a product of the collaboration between the Gala-Salvador Dalí Foundation, Salvador Dalí Museum, St. Petersburg, and the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, is the greatest display of the artist’s original work held in Brazil. It presents a journey through Dali’s output that sets off from the 1920s and finishes up at his final works, giving visitors the chance to contemplate the artist’s evolution, not only in relation to the technical aspects, but also in terms of his influences, thematic resources and ideological and symbolic reference points.
The exhibition assembles a selection of works that span the painter’s formative years, from his first contact with the Avant-garde, for instance in Retrato del padre y casa de Es Llaner (Portrait of My Father and the House at Es Llaner), ca. 1920 (Gala-Salvador Dalí Foundation), El camino de Portlligat con vistas sobre el Cap de Creus (The Lane to Portlligat with View of Cap Creus), ca. 1921 (Salvador Dalí Museum), and Autorretrato cubista (Cubist Self-Portrait), 1923 (Museo Reina Sofía), to his later works, such as Sin título. Según “La noche” de Miguel Ángel (Untitled. After ‘The Night’ by Michelangelo), 1982 (Gala-Salvador Dalí Foundation), and Contorsión topológica de figura femenina convirtiéndose en violonchelo (Topological Contorsion of a Female Figure Becoming a Violoncello), 1983 (Museo Reina Sofía).
The biggest turning point in this exhibit comes during the painter’s Surrealist period, the time in which he develops his paranoiac-critical method of interpreting reality. Highly significant works from this period, such as La mémoire de la femme-enfant (Memory of the Child-Woman), 1929 (Museo Reina Sofía), El sentimiento de velocidad (The Feeling of Speed), 1931 (Gala-Salvador Dalí Foundation), and La esfinge de azúcar (The Sugar Sphinx), 1933 (Salvador Dalí Museum) are exhibited.
This section, devoted to Surrealism, would not be complete without the artist’s prints to illustrate Les Chants de Maldoror, 1934 (Gala-Salvador Dalí Foundation). This poem in prose written by Isidore Ducasse, known as the Comte de Lautréamont, had a major influence on the Surrealists due to its themes and the oneiric world it described, and turned him into one of the leading authors in the movement. In addition to these prints, other inroads were made into this technique, which, in spite of their lack of sufficient analysis at times, still facilitate an understanding of the artist’s multiple interests.
Finally, the exhibition is concluded with a large number of documents from the archives of the Centre for Dalinian Studies, which help to reinforce the discursive approach of the works by way of a biographical and artistic journey through the painter’s body of work.
The exhibition, with the support of the Abertis Foundation, is on display at the Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil, in Rio de Janeiro, from 29 May to 22 September, and at the Instituto Tomie Ohtake, in São Paulo, from 15 October to the end of 2014.
Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil, Rio de Janeiro: 29 May – 22 September 2014
Instituto Tomie Ohtake, São Paulo: 17 October 2014 – 11 January 2015
Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Gala-Salvador Dalí Foundation and Salvador Dalí Museum, St. Petersburg