The Catalogue Raisonné of Sculpture and Three-dimensional Work by Salvador Dalí is a compendium of the sculptures and three-dimensional objects, including the installations, that can be identified as having been created by the artist and possess the characteristics required of an original work.
Dalí's accredited authorship of each sculptural work is established through a process of detailed individual study, once the conditions of its creation and the artist's direct connection with the work have been demonstrated.
At the same time, the originality of a sculptural work is established in accordance with specific criteria related to the process of its creation. As distinct from a painting, a sculptural work can be reproduced mechanically, and for this reason it is necessary to establish agreed standards that entitle a work to be accepted as original. In this context, the term 'original' refers not only to the authenticity of the work but also to its compliance with specific conditions related to the number of copies permitted in a single edition. Here reference must be made to the preliminary phase of the compilation of this catalogue raisonné, which focused on determining the specific requisites with which to identify and classify Dalí's sculptural work. The results of this process are published on the website of the Fundació Gala-Salvador Dalí, with the title Artistic criteria of the Fundació Gala-Salvador Dalí in relation to sculpture and three-dimensional work.
The works in the first chronological section, up to and including 1936, can be classified in three typologies on the basis of the following criteria:
Unique original work
A three-dimensional sculpture or object can be considered a unique original work by Dalí when it was conceived and executed as a single unit by the artist during his lifetime - that is, before January 23, 1989. In the case of a signed work, the signature must also be examined and verified as the authentic signature of Dalí.
Unique original work with versions
The works in the previous section include a number of very particular cases in which it has been established that Dalí's intention was to modify a unique original work. In other words, after the first exhibition of the work in question it was subjected to certain modifications, in the sense of the replacement, addition or alteration of one or more of its constituent elements. Therefore, in order to express this decision by the artist, the work is classified as a unique original work with versions by Dalí.
Unique original version
Each modification or new presentation of a unique original work has been properly classified as a unique original version by Dalí. As noted above, the artist created each of these successive versions of a unique original work on the work itself, thus qualifying each version as an ephemeral work. In some cases the artist introduced a variant in the title of the version, which thus reaffirms his wish that these new compositions should be considered works in their own right. Obviously, these versions must meet the same criteria as a unique original work, namely that they were conceived and made by the artist himself in his lifetime.
In the subsequent sections of this catalogue raisonné, and beyond the unique work, Dalí's sculptural work may also incorporate original editions: that is, works conceived and realized for the purpose of producing a number of casts. These works are assigned, according to the same artistic criteria, to one of the two categories detailed below:
The internationally accepted criteria for the classification of sculptural work require that an original edition be a limited edition of no more than 8 casts plus 4 artist's proofs, executed by the artist in person in life and under his or her supervision. This edition must be produced from a model made directly by the artist in person. Each of the casts of a limited edition will be considered an original - in this case, an original work by Dalí - provided that certain additional conditions are also satisfied, notably that there must be a contract signed by Dalí in which the terms of the edition are established. In order to guarantee the originality of a specific copy, it is necessary that the dimensions, materials and numbering and the fabricator or foundry coincide with those authorized by Dalí. If the work is signed, the signature must also be examined and verified as the authentic signature of Dalí.
Exceptionally, one of the casts of the original edition may be considered as a unique original cast, the requisites for this being that the cast in question possesses certain qualities or features that distinguish it from the others, and that there is evidence that these changes were made and supervised by Dalí himself in his lifetime.
Posthumous original work
Recognition as a posthumous original work by Dalí is dependent on the work in question being one of a limited edition of sculptures or three-dimensional works made after January 23, 1989, not exceeding 8 casts plus 4 artist's proofs and deriving from a model made by Dalí himself in his lifetime. In order to be classified as a posthumous original work, it must meet the same requirements as a work belonging to an original edition, as defined in the previous section, and a further two conditions: that the model used was not taken from a surmoulage and that the work is explicitly identified as a posthumous work.
At present the Catalogue Raisonné of Sculpture and Three-dimensional Work by Salvador Dalí does not include the multiple work created by the artist. This typology applies to editions of more than 8 casts plus 4 artist's proofs from a model made by Dalí himself in his lifetime. However, each cast must also satisfy a number of other conditions to be identified as a valid multiple work. The reason for the provisional exclusion of the multiple work is the need for a more exhaustive study of this aspect of Dalí's sculptural production, which, given its complexity, requires detailed knowledge of many fields, artistic, technical and legal.
At the same time, it should be made clear that the Catalogue Raisonné of Sculpture and Three-dimensional Work by Salvador Dalí will never in any circumstances include reproductions of works by Dalí authorised by licence.
For more information see the Artistic criteria of the Fundació Gala-Salvador Dalí in relation to sculpture and three-dimensional work.