New York, 4 October 2006
With the collaboration of the Salvador Dalí Museum in St. Petersburg, the Cultural Office of the Embassy of Spain in Washington D.C. and the exclusive sponsorship of Grupo Planeta, they opened today the exhibition of original drawings The Secret Life of Salvador Dalí. It will take place until January 2007 at the Cervantes Institute Auditorium in 211-215 East 49th Street, New York, NY 10017.
This exhibition offers an extraordinary opportunity to examine—at close range—one of the many facets of the work of Salvador Dalí, who is one of the best known, admired, and controversial figures of the 20th century. The 128 drawings being presented are the originals used by Dalí to illustrate his autobiography, The Secret Life of Salvador Dalí, published by Dial Press in New York in 1942; these are now in the Foundation’s collections. They had never been seen together before outside the Dalí Theatre-Museum in Figueres, from July 2004, when they were acquired by the Dalí Foundation.
Considered by critics to represent Dalí’s best writing, the book is an account full of truths, half-truths, and “falsehoods”. The events, situations, and concepts described or narrated in The Secret Life are brilliantly reinforced—and sometimes even exemplified—by the drawings on display at the Cervantes Institute, symbolizing a powerful creative symbiosis between Dalí the artist and Dalí the man of letters. Most of the drawings are executed in India ink on paper; some present both the front and the reverse, and occasionally Dalí manipulates printed images to create new ones. Some include a title or instructions, usually in English, or penciled notes, normally intended for the publisher. They are signed, as was the artist’s custom, in varying ways and with varying dates, from 1920 to 1942—a divergence from reality, since Dalí sometimes dated his work prior to its real date, in keeping with the narrative of his memories.