Salvador Dali- his name alone evokes unique emotional feelings unlike any other artist of the Twentieth Century.
Today, Dali’s work is experiencing a resurgence. His individual style and subject matter, which often blended art, literature, politics, and religion, continues to make his work relevant. Art critics and historians are now reassessing Dali’s incredible impact on not only the world of art, but as an important leader and innovator of popular culture. In the past decade, there have been several major retrospectives of Salvador Dali’s work. As commented in the February 2005 cover story in Art News, his work “is now being celebrated for being so far ahead of its time. It looks as though it could have been made yesterday.”
Dali was born in the northern province of Spain, Catalonia, also the birthplace of his compatriots and colleagues Picasso and Miro. In 1929, he became a member of the group of artists, writers, and intellectuals in Paris who called themselves the Surrealists. His formidable talents, abilities, and personality quickly made him the “star” of the group. He eventually split with the Surrealists in the mid-1930’s, but continued to exhibit with them throughout the decade. He and his wife, Gala, who was his muse, model, and manager lived in New York City during the 1940’s. During the next fifty years of his life, Dali explored film, design, and fashion in addition to painting and sculpting.
After fleeing to the United States, Dali addressed politics, challenged social mores, and paraded his neuroses and obsessions in his work. Many of these issues consistently appear in Dali’s oeuvre. In an early autobiography, The Secret Life of Salvador Dali, he acknowledged the profound influence his childhood and hometown of Figueres had on the course of his career. Dali’s drawings and etchings fully explore his long-standing obsession with sexuality, literature, intellect, and his wife. The later prints in the Argillet Collection reveal the influence of a fully-formed artistic, emotional, and intellectual philosophy developed over a lifetime.
Now, some twenty-eight years after his death, Dali is finally receiving the respect his work deserves.