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

 


 


 
 





Paths to Immortality  



1962-1989



 

 


In Quest of the Third and Fourth Dimensions
 

Among Dali's numerous recipes for immortality, tested as he faced the approach of death, was the following account of immortality by holography: "When I discovered that a single atom of holographic emulsion contains the complete three-dimensional image, I exclaimed: 'I want to eat it!' This astounded everyone else more than usual, especially my friend Professor Dennis Gabor, who received the 1971 Nobel Prize for physics. In this way, though, I was at least able visually to realize one of my dearest wishes: to eat my worshipped Gala, to take atoms into me, into my organism, that contained a holographic smiling Gala or Gala swimming off Cape Creus. Gala, Belka, the squirrel, the hibernation specialist." ("Belka" is the Russian word for squirrel.) "The recipe for holographic immortality: to be taken with a glass of Solares water - holographic information that can produce images containing a maximum of happy resurrection instantaneousness. The 'persistence of memory' (as I titled my famous 1930 painting of soft watches) will be complemented by the voluntary programming of desire: the image of a waking, sensual squirrel can make a person immortal." Dali, "a true athlete of the psyche" (as Dr. Pierre Roumeguere once called him), took an early interest in abnormalities of visual perception, planning to subject them to his own expressive intentions. In this endeavour, he moved on from initial work with anamorphoses (the first artist of which was Arcimboldo) to what he himself termed "hologramorphoses". These, he believed, would assure him immortality - the immortality of holographically-stored laser-generated images. Surely no one can give as arresting an account of the ageing painter's last dreams as Robert Descharnes, the photographer and Dali's companion towards the end. For a good twenty years, Dali was possessed of a passion for the third dimension, and was forever searching for methods of creating in the eye of the beholder the illusion of spatial plasticity. He hoped that, once he had secured these, he would be able to move on into the fourth dimension and thus into immortality. In his contribution to the catalogue for the Dali retrospective at the Centre Georges Pompidou in 1979, Robert Descharnes quoted Dali as saying that it was almost twenty years since he happened to drop turpentine and liquid ambergris onto a piece of slate and had noticed, to his surprise, an intricate mesh pattern emerging on the stone. Dali told Descharnes that he had just invented liquid television! That is to say: liquid applied to the surface made the immediate "broadcasting" of material possible. Dali told Descharnes that in New York he had later done intensive work on the patterns of metal lustre with a Dr. Oster of Scientific American. Dali had investigated all the possible results of superimposing various structures of flies' eyes on top of each other. These experiments produced extraordinary three-dimensional images. Dali later met Dr. Dennis Gabor, the Nobel Prize winning inventor of holography. At the time that he spoke to Descharnes, Dali had already made six holograms, one of them cylindrical. In parallel he was hoping to extend American photorealism through the use of a system of mirrors devised by Roger de Montebello, adding a third dimension to the perfection of pictures copied from photographs.

 

 


Portrait of Gala
1976

 

 


Portrait of Gala
c. 1977

 

 

Dali's first holograms were exhibited in New York in April/May 1972 at the Knoedler Gallery. Dennis Gabor contributed the following statement to the catalogue: "Holography is opening the third dimension for the artist. The first stage, already achieved, is the photography of three-dimensional objects and scenes, which, viewed through the resulting holographic plate of film, which itself is invisible, appear in natural size, in three dimensions, and can be viewed from any side, but only in one color. The color can be freely chosen. For instance, yellow for a bronze statue.

The next stage is holography in natural color, already realized in small formats, soon to be available in all sizes. Such holograms can be hung on the wall like pictures, illuminated by a small light source from above.

The third stage, under development, will combine natural color with unlimited depth. The artist can create in the studio landscapes which extend to the horizon and they can be landscapes which have never existed.

It needs only a genius like Salvador Dali, creating a new art of which old, great painters may have dreamed, but which could only be realized by combining art with the most modern technology."

 


Poesia de America. Los atletas cosmicos
1977

 

 

Of all Dali's experiments in holography, Holos! Holos! Velazquez! Gdbor!, now exhibited at the Figueras museum, was the most ambitious. Dali was clearly trying to create the first holographic dual image of an imaginary nature; most holographic artists at that date (1972) were still trying to reproduce the visible world exactly. Dali's hologram was the produce of a collaboration with the New York artist Selwyn Lissac. It crosses fragments of Las Meninas by Velazquez with a photograph of cardplayers used as an advertisement for a leading brand of beer. To create the hologram, Dali and Lissac mounted the various elements of the two pictures on glass plates arranged on as many levels as there were thematic areas. Holos! Holos! Velazquez! Gdbor! was the first holographic collage.

Dali also made a number of other three-dimensional works with the aid of the cylindrical hologram, which enables the image to be seen from any side around 360. One of the best achieved, Dali from the Back Painting Gala from the Back, shows Dali at work with Gala as his model. The hologram can be considered from any position and the two people' portrayed seen from every angle. Dali abandoned his holographic experiments in 1975, partly because the technology had not evolved as far as could be hoped. Nevertheless, holography remained the source of his hope for three-dimensional total vision. In Dali's eyes, Cubism came to seem no more than an experiment in holography.

 


The Happy Unicorn
1977

 

 

"Stereoscopy," Dali wrote in Ten Recipes for Immortality, "immortalizes and legitimizes geometry, for thanks to it we have the third dimension of the sphere which is capable of containing and limiting the universe in an august, immortal, incorruptible and royal fashion." Methods of conveying depth relief are all stereoscopic in character and derive from binocular vision, the sine qua non of the artist's spatial illusions. "Binocular vision," wrote Dali in the same publication, "is the Trinity of transcendent physical perception. The Father, the right eye, the Son, the left eye, and the Holy Ghost, the brain, the miracle of the tongue of fire, the luminous, virtual image having become incorruptible, pure spirit, Holy Ghost."

Shortly after 1960, stereoscopic work had already appeared in Dali's art in experiments with relief postcards using the reticular system (Fresnel). Unfortunately, today's technology only permits reproduction of this relief work on small surfaces. At that time, Dali also made his experiments in classic stereo painting -two pictures, one for each eye - created by means of geometrical constructions or with photographs taken using stereoscopic equipment (two lenses). Dali composed the pictures and transferred them to canvas using the technique of the photorealists. Dali from the Back Painting Gala from the Back is the pre-eminent work of this kind. Subsequently, after preliminary design work, Dali would have two independent and often irreconcilable images photographed, would draw them and divide them up spatially, and would then reunite them on the canvases, thus creating the first stereoscopic collage. Roger de Montebello's adaptation of the mirror stereoscope enabled Dali to paint large format pictures such as The Chair (p. 660), 'which measures four metres by two. On this scale, stereoscopic art, for the first time, abandoned the tone of intimacy and became monumental.

 


The Chair (stereoscopic work, left component)
1975

 

The Chair (stereoscopic work, right component)
1975

 


Study for "The Chair"
1975

 


Preparatory Drawing for "The Chair"
1976


The Wash Basin (stereoscopic work, left component)
1976

 

The Wash Basin (stereoscopic work, right component)
1976

 

The Chair (stereoscopic work, left component)
1976

 

The Chair (stereoscopic work, right component)
1976

 
 

Dali went even further. In Las Meninas (The Maids-in-Waiting) and in Dali's Hand Drawing Back the Golden Fleece in the Form of a Cloud to Show Gala the Dawn, Completely Nude, Very Very Far Away Behind the Sun he even attempted to break through the physical horizon.

In Eureka, written in 1976, Dali described the meaning of his quest. Ever since Impressionism, the entire history of modern art had been focussed on one single objective: reality. If contemporaries, he felt, were wondering whether there were anything new left to discover, the answer, he said, was clear. Velazquez.

 


Study for "Las Meninas"
(stereoscopic work, left component)
1976

 

Study for "Las Meninas"
(stereoscopic work, right component)
1976

 

Las Meninas (The Maids-in-Waiting) - first metaphysical hyper-realist painting (unfinished)
1977

 

Las Meninas (The Maids-in-Waiting)
(stereoscopic work, left component)
1976-77

 

Las Meninas (The Maids-in-Waiting)
(stereoscopic work, right component)
1976-77

 

Randomdot Correlogram - The Golden Fleece
(stereoscopic work, left component and right component; unfinished)
c. 1977

 


Dali Lifting the Skin of the Mediterranean Sea to Show Gala the Birth of Venus
(stereoscopic work, left component)
1977

 

Dali Lifting the Skin of the Mediterranean Sea to Show Gala the Birth of Venus
(stereoscopic work, right component)
1977

 

Study for "Dali Lifting the Skin of the Mediterranean Sea to Show Gala the Birth of Venus"
1977

 

Dali's Hand Drawing Back the Golden Fleece in the Form of a Cloud to Show Gala the Dawn,
Completely Nude, Very, Very Far Away Behind the Sun
(stereoscopic work, left component)
1977

 

Dali's Hand Drawing Back the Golden Fleece in the Form of a Cloud to Show Gala the Dawn,
Completely Nude, Very, Very Far Away Behind the Sun
(stereoscopic work, right component)
1977


 

Gala's Christ (stereoscopic work, left component)
1978

 

Gala's Christ (stereoscopic work, right component)
1978


 



 


The Eye of the Angelus
(stereoscopic work, left component; unfinished)
1978

 

The Eye of the Angelus
(stereoscopic work, right component; unfinished)
1978

 

Stereoscopic Composition, Based on Millet's "Angelus" (unfinished)
c. 1978

 

Stereoscopic Composition, Based on Millet's "Angelus" (unfinished)
c. 1978


 

Homage to Philosophy
1976

Musical Harmony
1976


 
 

Daphne: the Tree Woman
1977

Spanish Knight
1977


 
 

Virgin with Swallows
1977

 

Architectural Design (Eye Catching Economy)
1976


 

Soft Monster (Monstruo blando adormercido)
1976


 

Perseu
1976


 

Trajano to Horse
1976


 

Angelic Landscape
1977


 

Soft Skulls with Fried Egg Without the Plate, Angels and Soft Watch in an Angelic Landscape
1977


 

Aurora's Head, After Michelangelo
(detail of a Figure on the Grave of Lorenzo Di Medici)
1977


 

Fertility
1977


 

Nike, Victory Goddess of Samothrace, Appears in a Tree Bathed in Light
1977



 

Surrealist Angel
1977


 

Untitled
1977

 

Discuss Art

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

 
| privacy