Art of the 20th Century



 



Art Styles in 20th century Art Map



 

   

 

 

 

 



Salvador Dali




If You Act the Genius, You Will Be One!  1910-1928
The Proof of Love  1929-1935
The Conguest of the Irrational 1936-1939
The Triumph of Avida Dollars  1939-1946
The Mystical Manifesto  1946-1962
Paths to Immortality  1962-1989

_______

appendix

Illustrations:
Biblia Sacrata, Marquis de Sade, Faust, The Art of Love,
Don Quixote, Divine Comedy, Decameron,
Casanova, Les Caprices de Goya

 


 


 
 





The Conquest of the Irrational
 



1936-1939





 

 


The Secret Drawers of the Unconscious
 

The drawers that open out of Dali's human and other figures have become as universally familiar as his soft watches. The Venus de Milo with Drawers or The Anthropomorphic Cabinet have imprinted indelibly Dahnian images on the visual memories of millions. Before painting the latter, Dali did a number of detailed preparatory pencil and ink drawings. The painting was conceived as a homage to the psychoanalytic theories of Freud, whom Dali (unsurprisingly) revered. Dali viewed his own subject matter as an allegorical means of tracing the countless narcissistic fragrances that waft up from every one of our drawers (as he put it). And he declared that the sole difference between immortal Greece and the present day was Sigmund Freud, who had discovered that the human body, purely neo-Platonic at the time of the Greeks, was now full of secret drawers which only psychoanalysis could pull open. Dali was familiar with the furniture figures made by the 17th century Italian Mannerist Giovanni Battista Bracelli, and they doubtless influenced his own figures with drawers. For Bracelli, though, furniture figures were a game played with geometry and space, sheer jeu d'esprit, while for Dali, three centuries later, a similar approach expressed the central, obsessive urge to understand human identity.

 


The Anthropomorphic Cabinet
1936

 

 
The City of Drawers
1936

 

 
The City of Drawers - Study for the "Anthropomorphic Cabinet"
1936

 

 
The City of Drawers - Study for the "Anthropomorphic Cabinet"
1936

 


Venus De Milo with Drawers
1936

 


Venus de Milo with Drawers
1936

 


Woman with Drawers
1936

 


Ant Face. Drawing for the Catalogue Jacket of Dali's Exhibition
at the Alex Reid and Lefevre Gallery in London
1936

 


Bust with Drawers
1936
 


Freudian Portrait of a Bureaucrat
1936
 

 

Dali's Surrealist dream objects bore the unmistakable hallmark of his own unique personality, and took the Parisian art scene by storm. Items such as the Aphrodisiac Dinner Jacket were first exhibited at Charles Ratton's in May 1936, then at the International Surrealist Exhibition in London that July, and at Julien Levy's in New York in December. At the same time Dali designed the cover for the eighth issue of Minotaure - a typically feminine Dalinian minotaur, complete with drawer and lobster - and contributed key writings on art and aesthetics to the magazine. In "Le Surrealisme spectral de Peternel feminin preraphaelite" (a title which incorporated Goethe's "eternal feminine" and 19th century English art into Dali's compass), he insisted that the aesthetic well-being of the mind could only come from the body's health, from touching, eating and chewing. Though the women in English Pre-Raphaelite art were at once the most desirable and the most terrifying imaginable, they were nonetheless creatures one might eat up - with the greatest of fear. To Dali, they recalled "that legendary necrophiliac spring" of Botticelli, which he considered acceptable in that it represented "the healthy flesh of myth" but debatable in its failure to establish the splendour and material pomp of occidental legend. Dali went on to assert that Pre-Raphaelite morphology was a standing invitation to steep oneself in the bloody entrails of the soul's aesthetic depths, and described Cezanne as "a kind of Platonic mason" who "refused to recognise geodesic curvature".
 


Aphrodisiac Dinner Jacket
c. 1936

 

Aphrodisiac Dinner Jacket
1936



 

The cover of Time magazine, December 14, 1936,
with a photograph of Dali taken in 1933.
 Photograph: Man Ray
 

Exhibition of Surrealist objects at Charles Ratton"s, May 1936.
Right: "Aphrodisiac Dinner Jacket", 1936
 

Some of the extravagant Dali-inspired
hats for Elsa Schiaparelli,
1936: the cutlet hat, inkwell hat and shoe hat

 

Gala with the Elsa Schiaparelli shoe hat,
after designs by Dali, 1936

 


Lobster Telephone
1936

 


Cover of "Minotaure" Magazine
1936

 


Study for the Cover of "Minotaure", No. 8
1936

 


The Great Paranoiac
1936


 


 

 

At this point Dali went on to address his theory of geodesic lines, declaring that Egyptian mummies had valuable lessons to teach and going on to write of the art of clothing, which marks the transitional point of access from the outer surface to the inner realm of muscle and ultimately bone. Night and Day Clothes of the Body, an illustration intended for Harper's Bazaar or Vogue, highlights Dali's meeting of various tensions: we cannot say for certain where the body, clothing, or indeed wardrobe or window, begin and end. The smock has a zip which enables two wing doors to be opened. Dali was subsequently to remark that the tragic constant in human life was fashion, which was why he so much enjoyed working with Chanel and Schiaparelli. He believed that the concept of dressing was a consequence of the most powerful trauma of all, the trauma of birth. Furthermore, he felt that to watch models parading on show, and marching by, was to watch angels of death heralding the approach of war.

"Le Surrealisme spectral de Peternel feminin preraphaelite" was a core text at the time. Dali went on: "it is natural, then, that when Salvador Dali speaks of his paranoiac-critical discoveries in the field of visual representation, the Platonic beholders of the eternal Cezanne apple do not take seriously what they consider a frenetic way of wanting to touch everything (even the immaculate conception of their apple) and, even worse, really to eat and chew everything, in one way or another. But Salvador Dali will not stop crusading for this hypermaterialist view, which is crucial to any and every epistemological process in aesthetics that include the flesh and bone of biology - a view of vast outsiderdom, a view of hegemonic disillusionment and of sentimental exaltation."

 


Night and Day Clothes
1936

 


Geodesic Portrait of Gala
1936

 


Study for "Geodesic Portrait of Gala"
1936

 

Gala's Head - Rear View
1936

 

A Couple with Their Heads Full of Clouds
1936

 


Gala and Dali with "A Couple with Their Heads Full of Clouds ". Photograph: Cecil Beaton
1936


Study for "A Couple with Their Heads Full of Clouds " (detail)
1936

 

Man with His Head Full of Clouds
1936


 

Messenger in a Palladinian Landscape
1936


 

Head of a Woman in the Form of a Battle
1936


 

Study of Horsemen
1936


 

Decalcomania
1936


 

The Vertebrate Grotto - Transfer Series
1936


 

Anatomical Studies - Transfer Series
1937


 

Blactric Collars
1936

Our Love
1936

 

Discuss Art

Please note: site admin does not answer any questions. This is our readers discussion only.

 
| privacy