From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
Salvador Dalí (May 11 1904 – January 23 1989) was a Surrealist Spanish artist and one of the most financially successful painters of the 20th century. His best known painting is The Persistence of Memory, hist best known objects the Lobster Telephone and the Mae West Lips Sofa, his best known film, An Andalusian Dog.
Dali and surrealism
During the Spanish Civil War Dalí remained apolitical, striving to comprehend the war in its minutiae. His surrealist fellows, being predominantly Marxist, eventually maintained his expulsion from this group, to which his fascination with Hitler contributed. At this, Dalí retorted, "Le surréalisme, c'est moi." André Breton coined the anagram "avida dollars" (for Salvador Dalí), which more or less translates to "eager for dollars," by which he referred to Dalí after the period of his expulsion; the surrealists henceforth spoke of Dalí in the past tense, as if he were dead. The surrealist movement and various members thereof (such as Ted Joans) would continue to issue extremely harsh polemics against Dalí until the time of his death and beyond.
He was a skilled draftsman, best known for the striking, bizarre, and beautiful images in his surrealist work. His painterly skills are often attributed to the influence of Renaissance masters. His best known work, The Persistence of Memory, was completed in 1931. Salvador Dalí's artistic repertoire also included film, sculpture, and photography. He collaborated with Walt Disney on the Academy Award-nominated short cartoon Destino, which was released posthumously in 2003.
Born in Catalonia, Spain, Dalí insisted on his "Arab lineage," claiming that his ancestors descended from the Moors who invaded Spain in 711, and attributed to these origins, "my love of everything that is gilded and excessive, my passion for luxury and my love of oriental clothes." Gibson found out that "Dalí" (and its many variants) is an extremely common surname in Arab countries like Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria or Egypt. On the other hand, also according to Gibson, Dalí's mother family, the Domènech of Barcelona, had Jewish roots.
Widely considered to be greatly imaginative, Dalí had an affinity for doing unusual things to draw attention to himself. This sometimes irked those who loved his art as much as it annoyed his critics, since his eccentric manner sometimes drew more public attention than his artwork. The purposefully sought notoriety led to broad public recognition and many purchases of his works by people from all walks of life.
Listing of selected works
Dalí produced over 1,500 paintings in his career in addition to producing illustrations for books, lithographs, designs for theatre sets and costumes, a great number of drawings, dozens of sculptures, and various other projects, including an animated short film for Disney. He also collaborated with director Jack Bond in 1965, creating a movie titled Dalí in New York. Below is a chronological sample of important and representative work, as well as some notes on what Dalí did in particular years.
In Carlos Lozano's biography, Sex, Surrealism, Dalí, and Me, produced with the collaboration of Clifford Thurlow, Lozano makes it clear that Dalí never stopped being a surrealist. As Dalí said of himself: "the only difference between me and the surrealists is that I am a surrealist."
- 1910 Landscape Near Figueras
- 1913 Vilabertin
- 1916 Fiesta in Figueras (begun 1914)
- 1917 View of Cadaqués with Shadow of Mount Pani
- 1918 Crepuscular Old Man (begun 1917)
- 1919 Port of Cadaqués (Night) (begun 1918) and Self-portrait in the Studio
- 1920 The Artist's Father at Llane Beach and View of Portdogué (Port Aluger)
- 1921 The Garden of Llaner (Cadaqués) (begun 1920) and Self-portrait
- 1922 Cabaret Scene and Night Walking Dreams
- 1923 Self Portrait with L'Humanite and Cubist Self Portrait with La Publicitat
- 1924 Still Life (Syphon and Bottle of Rum) (for García Lorca) and Portrait of Luis Buñuel
- 1925 Large Harlequin and Small Bottle of Rum and a series of fine portraits of his sister Anna Maria, most notably Figure at a Window
- 1926 The Basket of Bread and Girl from Figueres
- 1927 Composition with Three Figures (Neo-Cubist Academy) and Honey is Sweeter than Blood (his first important surrealist work)
- 1929 Template:Lang (An Andalusian Dog) film in collaboration with Luis Buñuel, The Lugubrious Game, The Great Masturbator, The First Days of Spring, and The Profanation of the Host
- 1930 Template:Lang (The Golden Age) film in collaboration with Luis Buñuel
- 1931 The Persistence of Memory (his most famous work, featuring the "melting clocks"), The Old Age of William Tell, and William Tell and Gradiva
- 1932 The Spectre of Sex Appeal, The Birth of Liquid Desires, Anthropomorphic Bread, and Fried Eggs on the Plate without the Plate. The Invisible Man (begun 1929) completed (although not to Dalí's own satisfaction)
- 1933 Retrospective Bust of a Woman (mixed media sculpture collage) and Portrait of Gala With Two Lamb Chops Balanced on Her Shoulder, Gala in the Window
- 1934 The Ghost of Vermeer of Delft Which Can Be Used As a Table and A Sense of Speed
- 1935 Archaeological Reminiscence of Millet's Angelus and The Face of Mae West
- 1936 Autumn Cannibalism, Lobster Telephone, Soft Construction with Boiled Beans (Premonition of Civil War) and two works titled Morphological Echo (the first of which began in 1934)
- 1937 Metamorphosis of Narcissus, Swans Reflecting Elephants, The Burning Giraffe, Sleep, The Enigma of Hitler, Mae West Lips Sofa and Cannibalism in Autumn
- 1938 The Sublime Moment and Apparition of Face and Fruit Dish on a Beach
- 1939 Shirley Temple, The Youngest, Most Sacred Monster of the Cinema in Her Time
- 1940 The Slave Market with Disappearing Bust of Voltaire, The Face of War
- 1941 Honey is Sweeter than Blood
- 1943 The Poetry of America and Geopoliticus Child Watching the Birth of the New Man
- 1944 Galarina and Dream Caused by the Flight of a Bee around a Pomegranate a Second Before Awakening
- 1944–48 Hidden Faces, a novel
- 1945, Basket of Bread—Rather Death than Shame and Fountain of Milk Flowing Uselessly on Three Shoes; also this year, Dalí collaborated with Alfred Hitchcock on a dream sequence to the film Spellbound, to mutual dissatisfaction
- 1946 The Temptation of St. Anthony
- 1948 Les Elephants
- 1949 Leda Atomica and The Madonna of Port Lligat. Dalí returned to Catalonia this year
- 1951 Christ of St. John of the Cross and Exploding Raphaelesque Head
- 1952 Galatea of the Spheres
- 1954 The Disintegration of the Persistence of Memory (begun in 1952), Crucifixion (Corpus Hypercubus) and Young Virgin Auto-Sodomized by the Horns of Her Own Chastity
- 1955 The Sacrament of the Last Supper, Lonesome Echo, record album cover for Jackie Gleason
- 1956 Still Life Moving Fast, Rinoceronte vestido con puntillas
- 1957 Santiago el Grande oil on canvas on permanent display at Beaverbrook Art Gallery in Fredericton, NB, Canada
- 1958 The Rose
- 1959 The Discovery of America by Christopher Columbus
- 1960 Composición Numérica (de fond préparatoire inachevé)
- 1960 Dalí began work on the Teatro-Museo Gala Salvador Dalí and Portrait of Juan de Pareja, the Assistant to Velázquez
- 1963-1964 They Will All Come from Saba a work in water color depicting the Magi at St. Petersbur's Dali Museum
- 1965 Dalí donates a gouache, ink and pencil drawing of the Crucifixion to the Rikers Island jail in New York City. The drawing hung in the inmate dining room from 1965 to 1981
- 1965 Dalí in New York
- 1967 Tuna Fishing
- 1969 Chupa Chups logo
- 1969 - Improvisation on a Sunday Afternoon, television collaboration with the rock group Nirvana
- 1970 The Hallucinogenic Toreador, acquired in 1969 by A. Reynolds Morse & Eleanor R. Morse before it was completed
- 1972 La Toile Daligram, Helena Devulina Diakanoff - dit., GALA
- 1973 "Le Diners De Gala", an ornately illustrated cook book
- 1976 Gala Contemplating the Mediterranean Sea
- 1977 Dalí's Hand Drawing Back the Golden Fleece in the Form of a Cloud to Show Gala Completely Nude, Very Far Away Behind the Sun (stereoscopical pair of paintings)
- 1983 Dalí completes his final painting, The Swallow's Tail
- 2003 Template:Lang, an animated short film originally a collaboration between Dalí and Walt Disney, is released. Production on Template:Lang began in 1945
The largest collections of Dalí's work are at the Dalí Theatre and Museum in Figueres, Catalonia, Spain, followed by the Salvador Dalí Museum in St. Petersburg, Florida, which contains the collection of A. Reynolds Morse & Eleanor R. Morse. It holds over 1,500 works from Dalí. Other particularly significant collections include the Reina Sofia Museum in Madrid and the Salvador Dalí Gallery in Pacific Palisades, California. Espace Dalí in Montmartre, Paris, France, as well as the Dalí Universe in London, England, contain a large collection of his drawings and sculptures.
The unlikeliest venue for Dalí's work was the Rikers Island jail in New York City; a sketch of the Crucifixion he donated to the jail hung in the inmate dining room for 16 years before it was moved to the prison lobby for safekeeping. Ironically, the drawing was stolen from that location in March 2003 and has not been recovered.
Under the encouragement of poet Federico García Lorca, Dalí attempted an approach to a literary career through the means of the "pure novel". In his only literary production, Hidden Faces (1944), Dalí describes, in vividly visual terms, the intrigues and love affairs of a group of dazzling, eccentric aristocrats who, with their luxurious and extravagant lifestyle, symbolize the decadence of the 1930s.