Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Soluble Fish

this Sunday i had the chance to see the comprehensive Salvador Dali exhibit at the Philadelphia Museum of Art before it wends its way to wheresoever it goes next. has to be one of the best exhibits i've ever seen there, & i've seen quite a few.

the museum's special exhibitions always go on timed tickets, & as we were waiting in line, Disney-World-style, all winding back & forth, a projector displayed a series of black & white images over the entrance to the exhibit. mostly these were photographs of Dali himself, sometimes pictured with his work, or doing strange this with mannequins & lobsters. he's a strange-looking figure; as my stepfather said, "No wonder he has those circles under his eyes; he must be afraid to sleep."

the show did an amazing job of demonstrating the psychological & artistic development of Dali's work, from his early post-impressionistic/cubist work to his "Nuclear Mysticism" near the end.


Figure at a Window (the artist's sister), 1925.


Barcelona Mannequin, 1926-27.


Apparition of Face & Fruit Dish on a Beach, 1938.


Dream caused by the Flight of a Bee around a Pomegranate, One Second Before Awakening, 1944.


My Wife, Nude, Contemplating Her own Flesh Becoming Stairs, Three Vertebrae of a Column, Sky and Architecture, 1945.


Madonna of Port Lligat, 1949.

Dali is really worth a little research effort. he invented the paranoiac-critical method, played with Federico Garcia Lorca, the Surrealists & Freud, Einstein, Heisenberg, & always his enigmatic wife Gala, stolen from her first husband Paul Eluard. His artistic renderings of wartime Europe or very powerful, partly because he viewed the destruction as akin to organic decay. As a bonus to all this theory, he was also a masterful painter, mechanically speaking; his technique was impeccable pretty much from the start. it's part of what makes these images so intense &/or disturbing.

i've updated the tourist with photographs of the museum, though you're strictly forbidden to take photos of any special exhibit, so the most dali-esque of mine are actually from the gift shop (which, if you follow the path of the exhibit, is your way out. clever marketing.)

i think they extended the exhibit another week, so if you're around Philadelphia do yourself a favor & wander through it. then go have a good strong drink afterwards, you'll need it.

5 little fish:

Blogger phylos swam up to say...

You lucky person! There's a semi permanent Dali exhibition at the old County Hall building on the south bank, i guess Phily is where all the good works have gone.

4:04 PM  
Blogger Carl V. swam up to say...

Sounds like a very exciting and thought-provoking exhibit! Glad you were able to attend as it sounds fascinating. I had never heard of the paranoic-critical method but reading about it on your link was really interesting, especially since I work in the mental health field. Dali was a truly masterful painter whose images, though at times disturbing, are quite imaginative and fun to stare at!

4:38 PM  
Blogger banzai cat swam up to say...

*sigh*

Unfortunately, am on the wrong side of the globe for that. Still, looks interesting despite my preference for Renaissance art.
Heh. Looks like he plumbed some of the nightmares rooting around in my head.

3:12 AM  
Blogger Hannibal swam up to say...

DalĂ­ is my favorite surrealist artist. I hope I can make it and visit the exhibit at Philly.

1:59 PM  
Blogger mysfit swam up to say...

i'm so jealous... (mysfit goes off to sulk in a corner)

12:39 PM  

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