Salvador Dalí (Reaktion Books - Critical Lives)

Salvador Dalí (Reaktion Books - Critical Lives)

Language: English

Pages: 192

ISBN: 1861893833

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

“Each morning when I awake, I experience again a supreme pleasure—that of being Salvador Dalí.”
He was a force unto himself, an icon of outrageousness, artistic brilliance, eccentricity, and unmistakable style. Salvador Domingo Felipe Jacinto Dalí y Domènech, Marquis of Pubol, was one of the foremost artists of the twentieth century, and in this concise narrative acclaimed art historian Mary Ann Caws provides a sharply written survey of his life and work.
Salvador Dalí examines every twist and turn in Dalí’s long and multifaceted career and the pivotal artistic movements at whose center he stood. From his early life in the Catalan region and his expulsions from the School of Fine Arts in Madrid and other schools to the surrealist movement and his work with Buñuel on the films Un chein andalou and L’Âge d’or, Caws charts Dalí’s influences and creative process. Dalí’s turbulent personal life brought him in contact with a rich assortment of intellectual figures, and Caws considers his relationships with his family; his lovers, including the married Elena Diakonova; and with friends such as poet Federico Garcia Lorca. His writings, drawings, photography, and painted works offer up new clues about the artist under Caws’s incisive eye, as she analyzes his lesser-known writings and creative works, as well as his Surrealist paintings and “hand-painted dream photographs” such as The Persistence of Memory.
A masterfully written biographical study, Salvador Dalí paints an arresting portrait of one of the most elusive artists of our time.

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as was the custom, to correspond with the house so the nobles could hear Mass without disturbing themselves. The purchase of the place was strangely prefigured by Dalí and Gala’s religious wedding in August 1958 (they had had a previous civil marriage), at the church of Els Àngels, in Sant Martí Vell, near Púbol. When, in 1961, Dalí dreamed up the Teatre-Museu in Figueres, he also thought of managing to have a separate place for Gala, and after several investigations, including some aerial ones,

female does to the male after love-making, so Dalí the novelist does not have to spell it out, as he does much else. As for Solange, dying, her half-shut eyelids show only the whites of her eyes, and even those are not left in peace. And it is in the whites of these eyes, smooth as those of blind statues, that Salvador Dalí’s imagination wishes to engrave, and thereby immortalize them at the end of this chapter, the Latin word, ‘NIHIL’, which means ‘NOTHING’.23 An Epilogue, entitled ‘The

assume this attitude is also responsible for the violence of colour in the paintings.2 It is the landscape near Cadaqués we grow to sense, and to appreciate, with all the objects found near there and proliferating in Dalí’s paintings: sea urchins, shells, stones, bones, skulls, marine organisms. Overall, a Catalonian heritage seems to supply ‘a comestible delirium’.3 Descharnes mentions, with enormous enthusiasm, Dalí’s fascination with ‘such scientific advances as Bikini and the discoveries of

14   Ibid., p. 78. 15   Alain Bosquet, Entretiens avec Salvador Dalí (Paris, 1966), p. 54. 16   Maurer, Sebastian’s Arrows, p. 184. 17   Ibid., p. 22 18   Ibid., p. 100. 19   Ibid. 20   Ibid., p. 104. 5 Dalí, Lorca and Catalunya, 1925–36 1   Text beneath a drawing of a mermaid offering a bowl of fruit, in a letter to Lorca. Quoted in Ian Gibson, The Shameful Life of Salvador Dalí (New York, 1997), p. 99. 2   Christopher Maurer, ed. and trans., Sebastian’s Arrows: Letters and Mementos of

6   Finkelstein, Salvador Dali’s Art and Writing, p. 122. 7   Ibid. 8   Salvador Dalí, La vie secrète de Salvador Dalí: Suis-je un génie?, ed. Frédérique Joseph-Lowery (Lausanne, 2006), p. 76. 9   Ibid., p 77. 10   Gibson, The Shameful Life, p. 249. 11   I am contrasting here, as all the way through this biography, the version of The Secret Life of Salvador Dalí, trans. Haakon M. Chevalier (New York and London, 1944), which is a translation from Gala’s edition, as it were, and the recently

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