Figueres, 13 July 2012
The Fundació Gala-Salvador Dalí has presented a Salvador Dalí work entitled Depart. Homage to Fox Newsreel dating from 1926. It has been received on temporary loan from a private collection, and is to be sent on to the Centre Pompidou this autumn for a major retrospective on Salvador Dalí.
On the occasion of this temporary loan, the Dalí Foundation has redesigned one of the spaces that make up the museum circuit at Torre Galatea, where another six works from the Dalí Foundation collection and directly related with this painting are also on exhibition: the painting Venus and Sailor and five drawings on the same subject-matter.
The installation can be seen until 28 October, in the Loggias Room at the Dalí Theatre-Museum in Figueres.
Context of execution of the work
The initial successes in the painter’s career occurred in Figueres and, above all, in Barcelona. The latter, as a city open to modernity and alive with social, political and cultural effervescence, also interested Dalí as a source of pictorial subject-matter. Neither should we forget the relationship the painter had with the Catalan cultural and literary setting of the mid-1920s. On the one hand, a juxtaposition of classical and cubist features reflects the difficult equilibrium between Noucentists and avant-gardists in the Catalonia of the times. Dalí’s paintings show a quite natural mixture of the smooth and abstract planes of late cubism with neo-classical representational themes: the male character in Venus and Sailor is a smooth spectral silhouette, while in Homage to Fox Newsreel the change of proportions, the double figure of the sailor and the superimposed profiles of the two heads introduce a futuristic dimension. On the other hand, Venus and Sailor (Homage to Salvat-Papasseit), 1925, is dedicated to the poet who died in 1924. This is the Papasseit who, in his first book Poemes en ondes hertzianes, made perfectly clear the fascination he felt for Marinetti, the Italian futurists and, even more so, for Apollinaire.
The work depicts a modern world, in which cinema and the documentary genre (with Fox Newsreel as media) are claimed by a pre-surrealist Dalí, a Dalí who stated along with Sebastià Gasch and Lluís Montanyà that cinema was an industry and should not be included in the fine arts: “Advances in cinema are in response to a process that is clearly and strictly industrial and anonymous. Its anti-artistic beauty and poetry are the result of a standardisation running absolutely parallel to that of other industries: automobile, aeronautical, phonograph, and so forth”, though he promoted Fox Newsreel (as well as science documentaries) to the category of the comic cinema of the time.