Rio de Janeiro, 29 May 2014
Following the undeniable success of the Salvador Dalí retrospective in Paris and Madrid in 2012-2013, the Fundació Gala-Salvador Dalí, the Museo Reina Sofía in Madrid and the Salvador Dalí Museum of Saint Petersburg (Florida), with the collaboration of the Tomie Ohtake Institute, will from May to December of this year be organising the largest exhibition on the artist to date staged in Latin America. More specifically, over that period it can be seen in the cities of Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, in Brazil. It will consist of an overview of works from all periods, though with particular emphasis on the surrealist period.
The Salvador Dalí exhibition is the largest anthological exhibition of the artist's work ever held in the country. It includes a total amount of 220 pieces: 164 works of art and 56 documents. Visitors will be able to see it at the Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil in Rio de Janeiro from 29 May to 22 September 2014, from which it will move partially to the Tomie Ohtake Institute in São Paulo, from 1 October until the end of the year.
A broad understanding between the organising institutions has led in the more recent past to exhibitions at the Centre Pompidou and the Museo Reina Sofía, which met with great success among the visiting public and the critics, and now fosters the staging of this major retrospective including great works by Salvador Dalí. The Dalí Foundation wishes thus to meet some of its founding objectives: to promote, disseminate and enhance prestige both within Spain and abroad to the painter's artistic and intellectual work.
Starting out from this premise, the technical teams of the three largest collections of Salvador Dalí's work have planned an exhibition that presents an exhaustive overview of Dalí's production from the 1920s down to his last canvases. It offers visitors the chance to appreciate not only the artist's technical evolution, but also his influences and his ideological and iconographic referents, thus offering the ever-enriching contemplation of the artist's original universe.
In Brazil we will be able to see works from the painter's early period such as Portrait of My Father and the House at Es Llaner, c 1920, The Lane to Portlligat with View of Cape Creus, c 1921, Cubist Self-Portrait, 1923, Portrait of My Sister, 1925, and others such as Bust of Voltaire, 1941, Uranium and Atomica Melancholica Idyll, 1945, About the "Speech on the Cubic Form" of Juan de Herrera, 1960, Gala's Foot (stereoscopic work in two elements), c 1975-76, down to Untitled. After "The Night" by Michelangelo, 1982 and Topological Contorsion of a Female Figure changing into a Cello, dating from 1983.
In this retrospective view the surrealist period is undeniably the main player. That period was when the painter achieved acclaim, the one that brought him universal fame and the one in which he developed his paranoiac-critical method of interpretation of reality. For this reason, the three institutions particularly wished to stress that period by showing very significant works from their collections. Good examples of this are Imperial Monument to the Woman-Child, 1929, The Sense of Speed, 1931, Morphological Echo, 1935 and Average Pagan Landscape, 1937. There will also be showings of the films made with Luis Buñuel: Un chien andalou (1929) and L'Âge d'or (1930), which brought both artists acceptance as full members of the surrealist group. As an ideal complement to the painter's activities in that movement we present the engravings he made to illustrate Les Chants de Maldoror. That prose poem written by Isidore Ducasse, known as the Comte de Lautréamont, was a leitmotiv for the surrealist group, due both to its subject and the dreamlike world it describes, thereby imposing its author as one of the movement's bedside-table authors.
In addition to these engravings, we have included in the exhibition other approaches to this technique which have sometimes not been sufficiently well explained but that nevertheless help us to understand the artist's multiple interests. Thus we will find the illustrations for various universal literary works such as Pages choisies de Don Quichotte de la Mancha by Miguel de Cervantes (1957), Le Château d'Otrante by Horace Walpole (1964) or Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll (1969), copies from the collection of the Dalí Foundation.
This major retrospective includes many documentary pieces that accompany the paintings exhibited. The documents, all of them from the files of the Centre for Dalinian Studies, reinforce the dialogue established between the paintings presented, while they also allow a biographical and artistic tour to be undertaken of the artist's trajectory. Of them, we might highlight two books in which he collaborated actively by creating the frontispiece of both of them, namely L'Immaculée conception by André Breton and Paul Éluard dating from 1930, and Onan by Georges Hugnet from 1934. The painter's incursion into the world of silver screen is completed by a showing of Alfred Hitchcock's film Spellbound (1945), whose dream sequences were designed by Salvador Dalí.
This exhibition offers an overview that helps to understand Dalí in all his facets: as painter, draftsman, thinker, writer, enthusiast of science, a catalyst of vanguard currents, illustrator, designer, cineaste, set designer. But it also shows him as a non-conformist in his own way, capable of perceiving the growing importance of mass culture, and, obviously, as an all-round artist, experimenting in all fields of creation, even the most innovative ones such as installations and performances.
This exhibition has the invaluable collaboration of the Tomie Ohtake Institute, the sponsorship of Arteris (Abertis subsidiary in Brazil), Banco do Brasil, IRB, MAPFRE, Telefónica, and the support of Atento, Brasilcap and Prosegur.