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

 


 


 





If You Act the Genius, You Will Be One!





1910 - 1928



 











Old copper engraving showing the Ampurdan officer and politician Josep Margarit. The engraving hung in the hall of Dali's parental home. Along with those of Velazquez, we are surely not wrong to trace Dali's moustaches to this portrait's example.
 

Caesar or Nothing

Dali's friendship with Lorca deepened, and at a crucial point in Dali's life, as man and artist, the answering echo of his beloved Lorca helped him define his own quest and identity. Presently, however, the friendship was displaced by a more amorous interest on the part of the poet from Granada, and Dalf later recalled: "When Garcia Lorca wanted to possess me, I spurned him in revulsion." Given Dali's penchant for fabrication, we shall never know what really happened between the two constant companions. We can only say that shaking Lorca's hand was then apparently Dali's most frequent physical contact with any other person; his experience of women seems still to have been limited, and he always claimed that he was a virgin when he met Gala.

Until that meeting, which changed Dali's life, he and Lorca had been inseparable, affectionately drawing each other's portraits and sharing enthusiasms. For example, there was a portrait of an Ampurdan officer and politician, Josep Margarit, in the hall of Dali's parental home, and both he and Lorca were entranced by it, not least on account of the subject's outrageous moustaches, which they envied. The closer Dali became to the Surrealists, however, the cooler the friendship with Lorca grew; and, despite the fact that the poet even wrote an ode to him, Dali put a brutal end to the friendship. And indeed, the man who preached the destruction of intellectual life at an event at the Barcelona Athenaeum in 1930, the man who announced the time had come to trample on finer feelings and humanitarian instincts, no longer had much in common with the sensitive poet. Even so, Dali wrote handsomely of Lorca in the Secret Life: "At the very outbreak of the revolution my great friend, the poet of la mala muerte, Federico Garcia Lorca, died before a firing squad in Granada, occupied by the fascists. His death was exploited for propaganda purposes. This was ignoble, for they knew as well as I that Lorca was by essence the most apolitical person on earth. Lorca did not die as a symbol of one or another political ideology, he died as the propitiatory victim of that total and integral phenomenon that was the revolutionary confusion in which the Civil War unfolded." It is true that Dali, when asked once by a journalist whether he was much affected by the shooting of Lorca, replied, "It satisfied me deeply." But Dali, of course, made a career of intentionally shocking people.

In the 1920s, Dali was still concentrating on proving to the world that he was a genius, and conquering Pans. In 1926 he refused to sit the Academy examinations, declaring the San Fernando professors incompetent to assess him; and this position resulted in his final expulsion from the Academy. Paris remained. Paris, in Dali's imagination, beckoned. Joan Miro, Catalonian, an elder and already established artist, helped persuade Dali's father that Paris was the right course, making the trip to Figueras with art dealer Pierre Loeb for the purpose. The notary was impressed, and began to wonder whether Paris might not indeed be the wisest strategy for his son; Miro admired Dali's most recent work, and offered his assistance; while Pierre Loeb, for his part, remained more sceptical. At one point, Dali reported, Miro took him aside and whispered that Parisians were far greater asses than they (the Catalonians) imagined, and that Dali would find that things in Paris were not so easy after all. Once Miro had himself returned to the French capital, he wrote to Dalipere urging that a visit to Pans would be invaluable and closing with the flattering words: "I am absolutely convinced that your son's future will be brilliant!"

 


Triple Portrait of Garcia Lorca
1924
 

Dali and Federico Garcia Lorca


 

Dali and Federico Garcia Lorca in Figueras, 1927


 


Portrait of Federico Garcia Lorca
1926-27

 


Self-Portrait Dedicated to Federico Garcia Lorca
1928

 


The Poet on the Beach of Ampurias - Federico Garcia Lorca
1927
 




Dali and Luis Bunuel at the Cape Creus, Catalonia, in 1928. That summer they would start writing the script for the film Un Chien Andalou, completed in Figueras at the beginning of the following year.

Dali's first one-week visit to Paris seems to have been around the beginning of 1927. "During this brief sojourn I did only three important things. I visited Versailles, the Musee Grevin, and Picasso. I was introduced to the latter by Manuel Angeles Ortiz, a Cubist painter of Granada, who followed Picasso's work to within a centimetre. Ortiz was a friend of Lorca's and this is how I happened to know him. When I arrived at Picasso's on Rue de la Boetie I was as deeply moved and as full of respect as though I were having an audience with the Pope. 'I have come to see you,' I said, 'before visiting the Louvre.' 'You're quite right,' he answered. I brought a small painting, carefully packed, which was called Girl of Ampurddn. He looked at it for at least fifteen minutes, and made no comment "whatever. After which we went up to the next story, where for two hours Picasso showed me quantities of his paintings. He kept going back and forth, dragging out great canvases which he placed against the easel. Then he went to fetch others among an infinity of canvases stacked in rows against the wall. I could see that he was going to enormous trouble. At each new canvas he cast me a glance filled with a vivacity and an intelligence so violent that it made me tremble. I left him without having made the slightest comment either. At the end, on the landing of the stairs, just as I was about to leave we exchanged a glance which meant exactly, 'You get the idea?' 'I get it!'" Dali's second visit to Paris, in winter 1928, by no means began as successfully as he hoped. Le Chien Andalou (The Andalusian Dog), the film he had made in Figueras with his friend Luis Bunuel and for which he had designed the famous scene in which an eyeball is slit with a razor blade, struck him as mediocre in its finished state. Dali the provincial was unsettled by the metropolis, which seemed full of traps.

In the Secret Life he wrote: "I had not succeeded in finding an elegant woman to take an interest in my erotic fantasies - even any kind of woman, elegant or not elegant! [...] I arrived in Paris saying to myself, quoting the title of a novel I had read in Spain, 'Caesar or Nothing!' I took a taxi and asked the chauffeur, 'Do you know any good whorehouses?' [...] I did not visit all of them, but I saw many, and certain ones pleased me immeasurably. [...] Here I must shut my eyes for a moment in order to select for you the three spots which, while they are the most diverse and dissimilar, have produced upon me the deepest impression of mystery. The stairway of the 'Chabanais' is for me the most mysterious and the ugliest 'erotic' spot, the Theatre of Palladio in Vicenza is the most mysterious and divine 'esthetic' spot, and the entrance to the tombs of the Kings of the Escorial is the most mysterious and beautiful mortuary spot that exists in the world. So true it is that for me eroticism must always be ugly, the esthetic always divine, and death beautiful."
 





The Bather (Feminine Nude)
1928


 


Symbiotic Woman-Animal
1928


 


Saint Sebastian
1927


 


The Severed Hand
1928


 


Unsatisfied Desires
1928


 


Bather
1928


 


Inaugural Goose Flesh (Surrealist Composition)
1928


 


Composition
1928


 


Untitled
1928


 


Anthropomorphic Beach (final state)
1928


 

Untitled
1928


 

Female Nude (final state)
1928


 

Moonlight
c. 1928


 

Abstract Composition
1928


 

Sun, Four Fisherwomen of Cadaques
1928


 

Untitled
1928


 

Soft Nude (Nude Watch)
c. 1928


 

Shell
1928


 

Bird and Fish
1928


 

The Wounded Bird
1928


 

Big Thumb, Beach, Moon and Decaying Bird
1928


 

Putrefied Bird
1928


 

Bird
1928


 

The Spectral Cow
1928


 

The Ram
1928


 

The Stinking Ass
1928

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