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In just about a week from now, something very revolutionary is going to happen in Turkey: the mounting of what is being billed as the largest Salvador Dali exhibition ever undertaken by the Gala-Dali Foundation of Figeures Spain, outside of its own exhibition space at the Teatru-Museu Dali.
The big show opens September 19th in Istanbul’s Sakip Sabanci Museum, and is expected to include 33 oil paintings, 113 sketches, and 123 graphics by Senor Dali. The exhibition runs through January 19th.
It is terrific to see Dali tearing down impenetrable walls such as those that used to be figuratively erected around Russia, which in recent years has featured Dali works in at least one key show. If I’m not mistaken, the same has occurred in recent times in Iran and I believe, China. Now Turkey, also, will have a chance to see Dali up close and personal, which is the best way to appreciate his masterpieces.
MIAMI HEATS IT UP WITH DALI
It seems there is never a time when there isn’t a Dali exhibition…somewhere. Dali’s appeal is far reaching and continuous.
So now, if you cannot hop on a plane to Turkey, it may be a bit more convenient for you to head down to Miami, Florida where the Bass Museum of Art in Miami Beach is featuring “20th Century works on paper from the Fundacion Mapfre Collection: Picasso, Tapies, Miro, and others” through November 2nd.
Here is an excerpt form the Miami Herald newspaper, discussing the exhibition:
“Dali’s clock drawing, Solitude Mentale, belonged to French surrealist Andre Breton from 1932 to 1943. Tradition says that despite Breton’s early admiration for Dali, he ended up deciding that Dali had “vulgarized” surrealist ideas after the Dalinean clocks made it onto that November 1943 cover of Vogue magazine. So Breton got rid of his clock drawing that same year. And so now it’s here for South Floridians to behold.”
DALI DIMENSION KEEPS KICKING BUTT
The DVD, ‘The Dali Dimension: Decoding the Mind of a Genius’ – distributed by MVD and The Salvador Dali Society, is quite candidly one of the most intriguing video releases ever about Salvador Dali.
Check out places like www.dvdtalk.com which currently features another rave review of the film.
“This extremely engaging documentary makes a cogent effort to prove that the sometimes baffling world of Dali’s paintings actually is not as random as it may first appear, and that literally illustrates many ground-shaking scientific advances of the 20th Century” – dvdtalk.com
WORTH A CLOSER LOOK
Here is a Dali work that is most definitely worth a closer look: ‘The Angelus of Gala.’ We see that Dali’s obsession with Millet’s ‘Angelus’ painting is expressed by his re-interpretation of that famous work. Hanging starkly on the wall behind the ghostly mirror image of Gala – though now the two figures in the Millet work are seated, echoing the position of the back and front view of Gala.
The Angelus of Gala, 1935
At first glance, ‘The Angelus of Gala’ seems like placid and staid and on one level it is. But I ask you to take a closer look to consider the decidedly pale face of Gala…the barren, stark room…the deadly serious and vacant look on her face. It seems a bit haunting, does it not? The result is another pictorial mystery, courtesy of the famed ‘mystery writer’ Salvador Dali. But truly one of the most well executed earlier oils by the painter.
Geodesic Portrait of Gala, 1936
The Average Fine and Invisible Harp,1932
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Feminist Art, a movement that first exploded into the art scene in the 1970′s is now again demanding attention as several shows travel across North America this fall.
The movement first made its mark by exploring the concept of performance and identity based artwork in rather unconventional ways. Feminist artists chose themes and techniques that could not help but earn them reputations as extremists due to some of their works explicit content. To be more specific, several artists went as far as to use menstrual blood and graphic depictions of female anatomy in their pieces. However, these eccentric techniques were very crucial to their goal of opening discussion on taboo subjects such as class, race, and body type. Topics that artists have been depicting ever since. Some feminist artists, such as Ana Mendieta
chose to put their own body on display as a work of art.
Entitled “Glass on Body Imprints” Mendieta’s own breasts, buttocks, and stomach were pressed against a sheet of glass so that the audience could see society’s forced opinion of a “good figure.”
Yet, this new movement offered much more than just shock value, it paved the way for performance artists to expand their art form and infuse their own personal identities more blatantly into their work. Feminist artists explored the concept that a work’s message mattered as much or more than the medium.
In order to get their messages across, artists turned to new forms of art that had yet to be explored and older forms that had been forgotten.
Judy Chicago’s iconic piece “The Dinner Party” exemplifies this:
The work displays thirty-nine (39) influential women from over the century eating at an elegantly set dinner table. Each part of the piece is meticulously handcrafted and reminds us of the contributions feminist artists made to the resurgence of crafts based art.
Thankfully, works by some of the most prominent artists of the feminist movement are currently being displayed in exhibits across North America.
Kara Walker’s “My complement, My Enemy, My Oppressor, My Love” is currently on exhibition at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth until October 18th while the work of Louise Bourgeois, widely considered to be the grandmother of feminist art, will only be on display until September 28th at the Guggenheim in New York.
The renowned “WACK! Art and the Feminist Revolution’ show curated for the Museum of Contemporary Art Los Angeles is now traveling to other museums, stopping next at the Vancouver Art Gallery from October 2, 2008 to January 11, 2009. Lastly, Brooklyn Museum’s Elizabeth A Sackler Center for Feminist Art will feature an astounding number of approximately fifty artists whose work addresses the societel roles that are inflicted upon women, October 31, 2008 through February 8, 2008.
If traveling to any of these cities in the coming months be sure to stop and see the works that laid the foundation for some of the most unique artistic expressions and discussions on current social issues.
- Catherine Brooke Ambler
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I think we ought to be permitted an opportunity to toot our own horn a little, at least on occasion. So let me mention The Dali Dimension: Decoding the Mind of a Genius, which is distributed in North America.
You’ll find a review of the video on the Dali Society homepage (www.dali.com), by yours truly, and it’s my heartfelt expression of admiration for everything about this film. While I love the crazy, wild and eccentric side of Dali – it was all very much a part of surrealist core – I personally enjoy even more when there are serious treatments of this genius’s actual work at the easel, and in other mediums.
So I was delighted to see T. Michael Testi’s wonderfully supportive review of The Dali Dimension on Blog Critics Magazine at www.blogcritics.org. “Throughout the video I was amazed how much Dali was into the science of the time,” writes Testi, who’s a photographer, writer, and software developer, and blogs at PhotographyTodayNet and All This and Everything Else.
This observation is perhaps the overarching theme of the DVD – how Salvador Dali was so fascinated by the scientific discoveries of his time, and how he so adroitly integrated contemporary scientific findings into his creative process and artistic output. Testi asks readers to do themselves a favor and get the Dali Dimension DVD, and I myself stand behind the assertion I made in my own review of the documentary: it’s the best video ever on Dali, in my considered opinion.
Does Size Really Matter?
As you know, Salvador Dali painted some 20 fairly ginormous paintings – wall-sized masterworks that explore religious, historic, and scientific themes, with obligatory splashes of delicious Dalinian surrealism tossed in.
But of these huge bad boys, which one is the biggest, in height or width? Do you know? Can you guess? Your Melting Times host did some investigating of the metrics kind and – unless I’m mistaken – the big winner is Apotheosis of the Dollar. Close in the pecking order – from next biggest on down – are Discovery of American by Christopher Columbus, then The Perpignan Railway Station, followed by Tuna Fishing, Santiago El Grande, and Hallucinogenic Toreador.
Apothesis of the Dollar, 1965
Does size really matter, or is it more about how you use it? Fact is, Dali used these great pictures to make something abundantly clear: he was indeed what his name “Salvador” implies – the savior of modern art! In a big, big way.
Should some major winds of change
Be blowing down south?
Hurricane Gustav serves to remind us of a chilling possibility: a major hurricane could wipe out the collection at the Salvador Dali Museum in St. Petersburg, Florida, a major fixture on the Gulf Coast’s art scene and, indeed, of all of Florida and the worldwide Dali landscape, for that matter.
Granted, the new museum – which is underway and is expected to open its doors in 2010 – is being designed and built to be more “hurricane-proof.” But nothing is completely protected from the unbelievable and inestimable fury and power of Mother Nature. Imagine if an incomparable and, of course, irreplaceable treasure like the Reynolds and Eleanor Morse Collection were wiped out in a single flurry of the wind and water of nature’s rage. Priceless, timeless masterpieces reduced to nothing more than water-ruined remnants of soggy canvas, indistinguishable from ordinary debris left in the wake of a ferocious storm.
Would it have made more sense for the Dali Museum to have been established in New York City? Or Boston? Chicago? Or even where it was originally – Cleveland? Probably, probably, probably, and probably. But it is what it is. And it is where it is. Let’s just hope and pray that those responsible for keeping it out of harm’s way know what they’re doing. I trust they do. If not, Dali’s “dripping” watches could take on a whole new meaning. And that would be a disaster of epic proportions.
Until next time, viva Dali!