dali & surrealism

of 107 /107
1 Dalí and Surrealism Lluís Figueras, Visiting Teachers Program, Ministry of Education/Embassy of Spain Kennesaw State University (Georgia, USA)

Upload: universitat-oberta-de-catalunya-uoc

Post on 08-May-2015




0 download

Embed Size (px)


Speech at Kennesaw State University (Georgia, USA), celebrating the Year of Spain for the Visiting Teachers' program, Ministry of Education of Spain (MECD) in 2004. I had the pleasure to deepen in a topic I love.


Page 1: Dali & Surrealism


Dalí and Surrealism

Lluís Figueras, Visiting Teachers Program, Ministry of Education/Embassy of Spain

Kennesaw State University (Georgia, USA)

Page 2: Dali & Surrealism


What do you recall when thinking of Dalí? What do you know about Dalí?

ü His moustache ü Gala ü His paintings ü His work ü His costumes ü His museum ü His films & books ü His double images

Page 3: Dali & Surrealism


Contents •  History of Surrealism •  Dalí’s family •  Testimonies about him •  The Paranoiac critical method •  Gala, his muse •  His work and his life •  His museum •  His last years

Page 4: Dali & Surrealism


What is Surrealism? •  A movement in literature and the visual arts. •  Founded in 1924 in Paris by André Breton. •  Believed that logic had failed humankind. •  Turned to the unconscious and dreams in an

attempt to transcend the boundaries of reason. •  Influenced by the writings of Freud. •  Dedicated their movement to express the

imagination as revealed in dreams, free of the conscious control of reason.

Page 5: Dali & Surrealism


The Surrealist group

The Surrealist group in 1930: from left to right…Tzara, Eluard, Breton, Arp, Dalí, Tanguy, Ernst and Man Ray

Page 6: Dali & Surrealism


Important Surrealist artists (painters)

•  Dalí •  Max Ernst •  Ives Tanguy

Page 7: Dali & Surrealism


‘Rendez-vous des amis’ by Max Ernst

Page 8: Dali & Surrealism


Dalí’s family members

•  His father •  His mother (?) •  His sister •  His dead brother

The entire family in 1910

Page 9: Dali & Surrealism


Dalí’s quotes… •  “At the age of six I wanted to be a cook. At seven I

wanted to be Napoleon. And my ambition has been growing steadily ever since."

Dalí at the Age of Six, 1950 , 27 x 34 cm - Comte Francois de Vallombreuse Collection, Paris -

Napoleon Bust

Page 10: Dali & Surrealism


Important facts in his life:

•  He was baptized with the same Christian name as his brother, who had died of meningitis at the age of seven.

•  This situation turned him into a substitute and charged him with the duty of living for his dead brother and it was cited by Dalí as the cause of his egocentricity.

Dalí at 8

Page 11: Dali & Surrealism


Dalí about his brother…

•  “In being born I followed in the footsteps of my adored dead brother, who they continued to love through me[…]. As happened in the myth of Castor and Pollux, by killing my brother within myself I gained my permanent immortality.”

Portrait of my dead brother, 1963

Page 12: Dali & Surrealism


Dalí’s family…HIS FATHER •  Salvador Dalí Cusí (Sr). •  A prestigious notary. •  Very influential in his son. •  Difficult relationship between



Dalí and his father, 1948 Portrait of his father


Page 13: Dali & Surrealism


Dalí about his mother…

•  …Felipa Doménech, a lady who loved arts and died, suddenly, in 1921.

•  Just as he was painting this canvas, found a religious chromolithograph on which he wrote: “Sometimes, I spit for pleasure on my mother’s portrait.”

“one can love one's mother and still dream that one spits upon her, and even more, in many religions, expectoration is a sign of veneration; now go and try to make people understand that!"

Lugubrious Game, 1929

Page 14: Dali & Surrealism


His sister: Anna Maria •  Dalí's sister were very close,

especially after their mother's death, when she took on the role of mother.

•  Anna Maria was the only female model he used til Gala replaced her in 1929.

Portrait of Anna Maria, 1925

Dalí and his sister, 1925

Page 15: Dali & Surrealism


His sister: Anna Maria •  In 1949, she wrote an

autobiography that portrayed a different view of Dalí, this led to the collapse of their relationship.

•  In revenge for Anna Maria's disloyalty, Dalí painted another version of this Figure at a Window …

Girl at the window (1925) 103 x 75 cm

Page 16: Dali & Surrealism


His sister: Anna Maria

•  …in 1954 and called it “Young Virgin Autosodomized by her Own Chastity”.

Page 17: Dali & Surrealism


His studies in Madrid… La Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando

•  First time in Madrid in September 1922.

•  He lives in the Hall of Residence.

•  He meets Buñuel and Lorca.

•  Expelled in 1924 and imprisoned for riots.

•  Second suspension in 1926.

Page 18: Dali & Surrealism


Testimonies about Dalí •  “Pure rose that

washes away artifices and sketches / and opens the tenuous wings of smiles. / Salvador Dalí / of the olive voice! / I say what your character and your painting tell me.”

(Federico Garcia Lorca, Ode to Salvador Dalí)

Page 19: Dali & Surrealism


Testimonies about Dalí

•  “Dalí has given Surrealism an instrument of the 1st order, namely the Paranoiac Critical Method, which he has shown himself able to apply to painting, poetry, cinema, the construction of Surrealist objects, fashion, sculpture, the history of art and, if necessary, to any sort of exegesis.”

(André Breton)

Page 20: Dali & Surrealism


Dalí’s quotes…

•  "It is not necessary for the public to know whether I am joking or whether I am serious, just as it is not necessary for me to know it myself."

•  "Liking money like I like it, is nothing less than mysticism - Money is a glory."

Page 21: Dali & Surrealism


Avida $$$$$ (Dollars)

•  Nickname used by Breton. •  Dalí loved money, but was

generous and always invited.

•  Unfortunately, he paid to have ´friends´.

Page 22: Dali & Surrealism


The Paranoic-critical method

•  Active character applied to all renges

of arts. •  DTs experiences. •  Double images. •  The conventional

vision of reality is altered.

Swans reflecting elephants, 1938

Page 23: Dali & Surrealism


The Paranoic-critical method

•  “It is the spontaneous method of irrational knowledge based on the interpretative-critical association of the phenomenon of delirium.”

Mediumnistic Paranoiac image, 1935

Page 24: Dali & Surrealism


Dalí’s quotes… •  "The world will admire me. Perhaps I'll be

despised and misunderstood, but I'll be a great genius, I'm certain of it."

•  "When I was five years old I saw an insect that had been eaten by ants and of which nothing remained except the shell. Through the holes in its anatomy one could see the sky. Every time I wish to attain purity I look at the sky through flesh."

Page 25: Dali & Surrealism


Testimonies: Dalí on Dalí •  “Every morning when

I wake up, I feel a supreme pleasure at being Salvador Dalí, and I ask myself in astonishment what remarkable things this Dalí might do today.”

(Diary of a Genius) Dalí at the Zoo in Paris

Page 26: Dali & Surrealism


Dalí and his work •  He used to work more than 10 hours a day. •  His studio in Port Lligat was his prison.

Port Lligat in 1930

Dalí’s house in Port Lligat

Page 27: Dali & Surrealism


Testimonies: Dalí on Dalí

•  “Even I, as I paint, don’t understand the meaning of my paintings, but it doesn’t follow that they have no meaning: in fact their meaning is so profound, complex, coherent and involuntary that it escapes the simple analysis of logical intuition.”

(The Secret Life of Salvador Dalí)

Page 28: Dali & Surrealism


Testimonies: Dalí on Dalí

•  “There are two important things that can happen to a contemporary painter: to be Spanish, and to be called Gala Salvador Dalí”.

(The Secret Life of Salvador Dalí)

Page 29: Dali & Surrealism


Testimonies about Dalí •  “I wanted Dalí for the cutting edges of his

paintings – very similar, certainly, to those of de Chirico – for his long shadows, the infinite alienation, the receding line, which meets in infinity, the formless faces. Of course he also invented very strange things that could not be realized.” (Alfred Hitchcock)

Page 30: Dali & Surrealism


Dalí about him… •  “The only difference between me and a madman

is that I am not mad!”

Playboy Magazine, 1963

Page 31: Dali & Surrealism


Dalí about Glory…

•  “I enjoy the glory which I have been given, and which is enhanced by the great media of collective idioticisation. But the word glory is not the only the desire to be an admired public personality. The glory of Christ is not that Jesus won the Nobel Prize but his revelation of the glorious body. I want to become a glorious body, a real and incorruptible plot of substance.”

Page 32: Dali & Surrealism



LEONARDO DA VINCI 17 15 19 20 18 19 20 20

MEISSONIER 5 1 3 0 1 2 17 18

INGRES 15 11 15 0 6 6 10 20 VELÁZQUEZ 20 20 19 20 20 20 15 20

BOUGUEREAU 11 1 1 0 0 0 0 15

DALÍ 12 10 17 19 18 17 19 19 PICASSO 9 9 18 20 16 7 2 7 RAFFAELO 19 18 20 20 20 20 20 20

MANET 3 6 4 0 4 5 0 14 VERMEER 20 20 20 20 20 19 20 20

MONDRIAN 0 0 0 0 1 ¼ 0 3,5

Some painters graded according to Dali’s thoughts

Page 33: Dali & Surrealism


Vermeer influence?

The Ghost of Vermeer which can be used as a table, 1934

Dalí with his back to the viewer painting Gala rendered eternal by 6 virtual corneas temporarily reflected by 6 real mirrors, 1972

Page 34: Dali & Surrealism


Dalí and the Arts: Music

•  In his texts, it was very clear that in his daily life he showed great contempt about music.

•  In Port Lligat, he was used to listening Tristan e Isolda , but he really enjoyed the ´scratch´ on the surface of the record.

Page 35: Dali & Surrealism


Testimonies: Dalí on Dalí •  “The two most

powerful driving forces behind the refined artistic brain of Salvador Dalí are first the libido, or the sexual instinct, and second the anguish of death.” (Diary of a Genius) Visage of War, 1940

“Not a single minute of my like passes without the sublime Catholic, Apostolic, and Roman specter of death accompanying me even in the least important of my most subtle and capricious fantasies."

Page 36: Dali & Surrealism

36 The Enigma of Hitler, 1940

Page 37: Dali & Surrealism


Gala and the Surrealist artists

Why were Surrealist artists so attracted to her…?

Gala and Dalí 1930 Gala and Eluard Gala and Max Ernst

Page 38: Dali & Surrealism


DALI – GALA INTERACTION a mutual duality?

Dalí Gala

Her lovers

Her influence Her background

Her admirers

Her past life

His sickness

His eccentricity

His fears

His world

His glamour

Page 39: Dali & Surrealism


Dalí about Gala…

•  “…for her, inebriated with the desire to draw her gaze, I anointed myself with fish paste and goat excrement, I adorned my neck with a pearl necklace and my ear with a jasmine. When I found myself before her, I was unable to speak to her, shaken as I was by an attack of demented laughter, cataclysm, fanaticism, abyss, terror.” (Life of a Genius)

Page 40: Dali & Surrealism


Gala’s facts

•  Helena Ivanovna Diakonova •  At 19, she meets Eluard &

marries him. •  Meets Dalí at Cadaques on

August 1929. •  Physically, she had tough

features. •  Delicate health.

Page 41: Dali & Surrealism


Gala’s facts

•  Dalí declares his love for her & he’s disinherited.

•  Gala was considered sly, mean and unsatisfied.

•  She had a scandalous sexual life.

Page 42: Dali & Surrealism


Gala’s facts

•  In 1931, she’s diagnosed a tumour in her genitals and becomes sterile.

•  Only understood French (?) •  1st marriage with Dalí in

1934 in Paris. •  Religious wedding in 1958,

in Girona.

The Bleeding Roses, 1931

Page 43: Dali & Surrealism


Painting Gala… •  “I like women with an extremely

thin waist and a big rear. That’s perfection!”

Page 44: Dali & Surrealism


Painting Gala…and The Angelus



Page 45: Dali & Surrealism


Masculine & Feminine aspects (by Oscar Tusquets, one of Dalí’s closest friends)

Determination Realism Ability for business


Imagination Waste Intuition

Page 46: Dali & Surrealism


The story of a rabbit…

•  Once upon a time…there were some little tiny rabbits that, at the beginning of the summer, were rescued after being abandoned by their mother. Dalí & Gala took them home to save their lives.

•  One night, they escaped from their basket, which was on the table of the kitchen, fell down and only one survived. From that moment on, they even took extra care with him.

Page 47: Dali & Surrealism


The story of a rabbit… •  The little rabbit grew up, had a name, knew them,

slept in their bed, ate with them. •  But the Fall season arrived and, as usual, they

were heading to Paris and later to New York. Gala and him realized that they couldn't take him with them…

•  The service staff offered their help to take care of him during the winter.

•  But the eve before leaving, Gala was absolutely convinced they couldn’t abandon such a loving creature so many months and, the only solution was…

Page 48: Dali & Surrealism


The story of a rabbit… _________________________

•  …to take it with them and get him to know some more French and American rabbits.

•  …to kill him and bury him with the rest of his family, which had been buried in a special tomb for them.

•  …to kill him, eat him, being dressed for that special occasion. Meanwhile the staff was sobbing.

Page 49: Dali & Surrealism


The story of a rabbit

…very simple situation. Dalí wanted something more…

Page 50: Dali & Surrealism


The story of a rabbit…

…not bad. It is a macabre situation, but not too macabre.

Page 51: Dali & Surrealism


Good choice!

…can you imagine a better way to enjoy?

Doing that, Gala just took to the edge, in a radical way, one of Dalí’s fixations, the obsession of humanity for eating, digesting and evacuating the most beloved things.

Story adapted from ‘ Dali and other friends’, by Oscar Tusquets (2003)

Page 52: Dali & Surrealism


His hidden muse…Amanda (Louis XIV)

•  Real name: Nanita Kalashnischkoff.

•  Frequent visitor and

his intimate friend. •  Discovered in a

charity ball in NY (1965).

Page 53: Dali & Surrealism


His hidden muse…Amanda (Louis XIV)

•  Astonishing blonde •  Babtised by Dalí as a

‘Borbon’ (a family of kings), compared with the French‘Sun King’).

•  ‘Daughter’ of a model and a businessman, alleged Russian Prince.

Page 54: Dali & Surrealism


His hidden muse…Amanda (Louis XIV)

La Momie Sardine de Nantes

Page 55: Dali & Surrealism


Dalí and the Skull, 1955

Page 56: Dali & Surrealism


The Dalí – Gala Foundation •  Created on 23 December 1983 at Púbol Castle •  It came into being in order to promote, boost, divulge,

lend prestige to, protect and defend in Spain and in any other country the artistic, cultural and intellectual oeuvre of the painter, his goods and rights of any nature

•  His life experience, his thoughts, his projects and ideas and artistic, intellectual and cultural works; his memory and the universal recognition of the genius of his contribution to the Fine Arts, culture and contemporary thought.

•  Right from the outset, Dalí presided over and directed the Foundation in person. His death in 1989 opened up a period of transition

Page 57: Dali & Surrealism


Dalí’s triangle of life

Page 58: Dali & Surrealism


Dalí in America…New York

•  Arrives by ship on September 1934

•  “Surrealism is myself”! •  They stay for 3 months

"I like chops and I like my wife. I don't see any reason not to paint them together,“ was Dalí's reply to a journalist astonished by this picture.

Portrait of Gala with two chops balanced on her shoulder, 1933

Page 59: Dali & Surrealism


Dalí in America…New York

•  2nd visit on December 1936 •  Becomes one of the most

popular artists in the city •  The scandal in the 5th

Avenue (Bonwitt Teller Department Store) 1939

Cover of TIME Magazine, 1936

Page 60: Dali & Surrealism


Dalí in America…different locations

•  They moved to America till the war ended.

•  He and Gala lived in Virginia & New Hamphire.

•  In California, in Del Monte Lodge Village.

•  8 years later, they will return to Spain.

Page 61: Dali & Surrealism


Dalí’s years in his work: •  Early stages (1914-21) •  Impressionist / pointillism (1921-23) •  Cubism (1923) •  His sister as a muse (1923-26) •  His friends (1926-28) •  Surrealist years (1928-1950) •  Classical years (1950…)

Page 62: Dali & Surrealism


Early stages…

•  Dalí’s 1st painting… Landscape near Figueras (Circa 1910)

Self-portrait in the Studio, 1919

Es Baluard , 1918

Page 63: Dali & Surrealism


Dalí’s simbols… •  Putrefaction of the flesh, ants and flies •  Childhood / Adolescence traumas (sex),

Lobsters •  Drawers •  Keys, fish, ties •  Vases •  Lion’s head •  Flying action •  Tables •  Stairs, sewing machine •  Cypress

Page 64: Dali & Surrealism


The Surrealist years:

ü Freud’s influence ü Gala’s influence ü Religious years ü Science paintings

Page 65: Dali & Surrealism


Freud’s influence…

Freud’s Perverse Polymorph (Bulgarian Child Eating a Rat), 1939

Metamorphosis of Narcissus, 1937

In 1938, Freud, 82, and Dalí, 34, meet in London for the first time

Page 66: Dali & Surrealism


The Religious years…

The Madonna of Port Lligat (1st version, 1949) 49 x 37 cm Marquette University, Milwaukee

Page 67: Dali & Surrealism


The Madonna of Port LLigat…

Detail, 12 x 8 ft, Collection of Lady Beaverbrook, New Brunswick, Canada

The Madonna of Port Lligat (2nd version), 1950

144 x 96 cm

Page 68: Dali & Surrealism


The Religious years…

Crucifixion (Corpus Hypercubus) 1954

Page 69: Dali & Surrealism


The Last Supper,

The Last Supper, 1955, 167 x 268 cm, Washington, National Gallery of Art

Page 70: Dali & Surrealism


Science paintings… •  Classical fascination with

the atomic structure, and his religious background.

•  Interest in perfect forms They represent his conviction that the basis of life itself was indeed a spiral.

•  The Madonna face here is depicted in a state of nuclear fragmentation. Raphaelesque head exploding, 1951

Page 71: Dali & Surrealism


Science paintings… •  Mythological

transportation •  Gala is Leda… •  …seduced by Zeus •  Dalí keeps facinated

with physics •  Sense of ingravity

Leda Atomica, finished, 1949

Page 72: Dali & Surrealism


Dalí and chairs… •  “The role of a chair is to be

useful to make the decorative spectre to emerge instantly. The spectre is a style. The chair of the Popes, which borders on the living heaven and the electric chair, which goes deeply into the dead hell. A chair can be even used to sit down, but only with one condition: to be bad seated, to sit down incorrectly.”

Hands chair, 1936

Page 73: Dali & Surrealism


Dalí and the Arts: Sculpture

Dalí designed a lot of different sculptures, most of them based on classical masterpieces.

Bust of a woman, 1933

Page 74: Dali & Surrealism


Dalí’s Sculptures

Venus de Milo with drawers, 1937

Page 75: Dali & Surrealism



•  Elements of his simbology: –  Cypress –  The Elephant –  The phone –  Diamonds –  Rubies –  Emeralds –  Saphirs

Page 76: Dali & Surrealism


Dalí and the Arts: jewels

•  The jewels and their relationship with money had a special interest for Gala and Dalí.

"The difference between false memories and true ones is the same as for jewels: it is always the false ones that look the most real, the most brilliant."

Page 77: Dali & Surrealism


Objects and jewels

The persistence of Memory, 1941

Lobster telephone

Page 78: Dali & Surrealism


Dalí’s designs:

Face of Mae West which may be used as an apartment, 1935.

The lips couch

Page 79: Dali & Surrealism


Dalí and the Arts: Architecture •  He admired the Italian Rennaissance,

Brunelleschi, Bramante and Palladio. •  He also admired the Baroque and Gaudí.

Main entrance of his museum in Figueres

Page 80: Dali & Surrealism


Literature and cinema: his work •  100 articles •  Poems •  Two biographies:

Ø The Secret Life of Salvador Dalí (1942) Ø  Journal d’un génie (1954)

•  One novel: Ø Hidden faces (1941)

•  Essays •  Movie scripts

Ø Un Chien Andalou (1929) Ø Babaouo (1932)

•  Unfinished work…

Page 81: Dali & Surrealism


Double images (Optical illusions)

Abraham Lincoln in Galavision

Page 82: Dali & Surrealism


Double images (Optical illusions)

Paranoic Visage, 1935

Page 83: Dali & Surrealism


Double images (Optical illusions)

Slave market with the disappearing bust of Voltaire (1940)

Page 84: Dali & Surrealism


Double images (Optical illusions)

The Endless Enigma, 1938

Page 85: Dali & Surrealism


Double images (Optical illusions)

The Image disappears, 1938

Page 86: Dali & Surrealism


Double images (Optical illusions)

The Great Paranoiac, 1936

Page 87: Dali & Surrealism


Dalí’s double images

•  The figure of the woman leaning her elbow on a night stand symbolizes the Spanish Civil War.

•  The torso and the face of the female figure are made up of groups of Renaissance warriors, of condottieri, inspired by a combat of horsemen done by Leonardo da Vinci.

Spain, 1938

Page 88: Dali & Surrealism


Mysterious mouth appearing In the back of my nurse, 1941

Page 89: Dali & Surrealism


Analysis of “The Persistence of Memory”

•  How many different areas can you see? •  Which are those areas?

24x33 cm


Page 90: Dali & Surrealism


“The Persistence of Memory”

Page 91: Dali & Surrealism


“The Persistence of Memory”

Page 92: Dali & Surrealism


Another version…

•  In 1954, in his Science and classical time, he paints “Desintegration of The Persistence of Memory”.

Page 93: Dali & Surrealism


The Great Masturbator, 1929

Madrid, Centro de arte Reina Sofía

Page 94: Dali & Surrealism


Castle hunting….Quemarçó(Vilajuïga).

Quemarçó Castle (drawing), 1977

Page 95: Dali & Surrealism


A Castle for Gala: The Púbol Castle

• Dalí chose this place for Gala to live…

Page 96: Dali & Surrealism


Dalí’s appearance

Dalí's Moustache, 1950 - technique and dimensions unknown -

- private collection -

Cape Creus, 1955. Dali with the typical Catalan hat and as a shepherd.

P.Halsman: Dalí, why do you wear a moustache? Dalí: “In order to pass unobserved."

Page 97: Dali & Surrealism


Dalí’s eccentricities…

•  Greeting people. •  His relationship with

the Media. •  His appearance and

his shows. •  His language.

Dalí in Cadaques, 1963

Page 98: Dali & Surrealism


What can an artist feel? What can you imagine in a dream?

•  “The Butterfly Effect” (2004)

¡ “Girl with a Pearl Earring” (2004)

Page 99: Dali & Surrealism


Where to see Dalí?

Page 100: Dali & Surrealism


The Dalí Museum

Figueres (Girona, Costa Brava)

Page 101: Dali & Surrealism


How to get there?

Page 102: Dali & Surrealism


The patio

Page 103: Dali & Surrealism


Dalí and his Cadillac “In the interior of this Cadillac is raining, and for this reason is full of escargots, because with the rain is easy to catch a cold..., and with a cold..., with a cold..., MOCS!, !MOCS!”.

Page 104: Dali & Surrealism


Dalí’s last years •  In 1981, he’s awarded with

the title of Marquis of Pubol. •  Gala dies in 1982. •  He stops painting.

Gala & Dalí in 1978

Dalí with his last painting

Page 105: Dali & Surrealism


Dalí’s last years

•  He suffers serious burns due to a fire in his room.

•  He’s moved to Torre Galatea in the Museum.

•  He dies on 23rd January 1989 •  He’s buried in a place he didn’t

choose. The swallow’s tail, 1983

Page 106: Dali & Surrealism


A Chien Andalou (An Andalusian dog)

•  Dalí and Buñuel directed this short film (16 min)

Page 107: Dali & Surrealism


A Chien Andalou (An Andalusian dog)