Art of the 20th Century



 



Art Styles in 20th century Art Map



 

   

 

 

 

 



Salvador Dali




If You Act the Genius, You Will Be One!  1910-1928
The Proof of Love  1929-1935
The Conguest of the Irrational 1936-1939
The Triumph of Avida Dollars  1939-1946
The Mystical Manifesto  1946-1962
Paths to Immortality  1962-1989

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appendix

Illustrations:
Biblia Sacrata, Marquis de Sade, Faust, The Art of Love,
Don Quixote, Divine Comedy, Decameron,
Casanova, Les Caprices de Goya

 


 


 



 


The Triumph of Avida Dollars




1939-1946




 

It was 1939, and the clouds of war were gathering over Europe. Dali, as though intuitively fearing the imminent arrival of German troops, was making ready for a renewed American sojourn. He was designing material, dresses and hats - above all, cutlet hats, inkwell hats, shoe hats, skeleton dresses, dresses with drawers, and so forth - for Elsa Schiaparelli; a ballet (with costumes by Coco Chanel) for the Monte Carlo Ballet; and an opera, Tristan Insane, with music by Wagner. They were all projects that were to be completed in the U.S.A. - and Dali was also preparing his next exhibition in New York. Meanwhile, he put the finishing touches to The Enigma of Hitler. He admitted that he did not know what the painting meant and that it was presumably a transcription of dreams he had had after the Munich Agreement. However, he also said that the painting "appeared to me to be charged with a prophetic value, as announcing the medieval period which was going to spread its shadow over Europe. Chamberlain's umbrella appeared in this painting in a sinister aspect, identified with the bat [...]"

In New York Dali was delighted to find that everyone was trying to imitate him. Bonwit-Teller, a department store, asked him to dress one of its windows, and gave him unqualified licence to design and display precisely as he wished. Dali went rummaging in a store and discovered some wax dummies dating from the turn of the century; they had long human hair taken from deceased persons and were terrible to behold. He planned to have one of the dummies getting into an astrakhan-lined bathtub filled to the brim with water. In its waxen hands it would be holding a mirror to symbolize the myth of Narcissus, and real narcissuses would be growing on the floor and furniture. Above a made bed there would be a buffalo's head with a bloody pig in its jaws; the buffalo's hooves would be the feet of the bed; in the black satin sheets there would be burn-holes at irregular intervals; everywhere there would be (artificial) glowing coals, even on the pillow beside the head of a wax dummy. Beside the bed stood the Phantom of Sleep, in the waxen sleeper's dream. Dali titled the work Day and Night. He was convinced that it would catch the attention of passers-by and would show for all to see what a true Dali Surrealist vision was like. In this he was not mistaken.

 


Shirley Temple
1939

 


Actress Betty Stockfeld Is Metamorphosed into a Nurse
1939

 


Apparition of a War Scene on the Face of Lieutenant Deschanel. Cover of "Match"
1939

 


The Sphere Attacks the Pyramid.
Cover of the Catalogue of the Exhibition at Julien Levy's in New York
1939

 

When the display was installed, the crowds that gathered were so large that they impeded the traffic. The management hurriedly decided to remove the main features of the display. When Dali saw his vandalized exhibit, he calmly climbed into the window and (attracting another crowd) tipped up the bathtub, which smashed the window, soaking the onlookers. Dali climbed out through the hole in the window and was arrested. Gala and some friends hurried to the police station. "The judge who tried my case betrayed upon his severe features the amusement that my story afforded him. He ruled that my act was 'excessively violent' and that since I had broken a window I would have to pay for it, but he made a point of adding emphatically that every artist has a right to defend his 'work' to the limit."
 




Baby Map of the World
1939

 


Freud's Perverse Polymorph (Bulgarian Child Eating a Rat)
1939

 


Ballerina in a Death's Head
1939

 


The Face of War
1940

 


Cafe Scene. The Figures at the Table Make a Skull -
Drawing for the Nightmare in "Moontide"
1941

 

The Face of War - Drawing for the
Nightmare Scene in the Film "Moontide"
1941

 


Drawing for the Glass Hallucination in
Hitchcock's Film "Moontide
(the House of Dr. Edwards)"
1941

 


Lady Louis Mountbatten
1940

 


Study for "Portrait of Mrs. Georges Tait, II"
1941

 


Two Pieces of Bread, Expressing the Sentiment of Love
1940

 


Soft Self-portrait with Grilled Bacon
1941

 


Dali with "Soft Self-Portrait with Fried Bacon", 1941


 

Cover of the exhibition catalogue for the show at
Julien Levy's, New York, 1941

 

Once again, Dali was the talk of the town. The following day, the press took his side, praising the blow he had struck for the "independence of American art". He received a number of offers, among them an offer to design a pavilion for the World Fair on the theme of "The Dream of Venus". Once again, however, his licence to work as he wished was not honoured. His instructions were not followed, and the organizers of the World Fair refused to allow him to put a replica of Botticelli's Venus outside the pavilion, with a fish-head instead of her own; and in revenge Dali published his Declaration of the Independence of the Imagination and the Rights of Man to His Own Madness. Dali had now grasped that the Americans mainly wanted the use of his name for publicity purposes and were less interested in showing the fiendish fruits of his imagination to the public. Dali's response was to demand the cheque before he would even talk to potential clients.

The publicity created by the smashed Bonwit-Teller window was well timed and helped launch his own solo exhibition, which opened at the Julien Levy Gallery on 21 March 1939. Life magazine reported his latest triumph: "No exhibition had been so popular since Whistler's Arrangement in Black and Grey No. 1: The Artist's Mother was shown in 1934. The crowd gaped open-mouthed at pictures with bewildering titles like Dehris of an Automobile Giving Birth to a Blind Horse Biting a Telephone or The One-eyed Idiot. A fortnight later, Dali, one of the richest young painters in the world, had sold 21 of his works to private collectors for over $25,000. Two works remained to be sold: The Enigma of Hitler ($1,750) and The Endless Enigma ($3,000)." And The Art Digest reported: "The Dali exhibition was preceded by the usual publicity campaign, dreamt up in this case by the masters of publicity, Dali and Levy, for New York's journalists and the broad gullible public [...] after he had smashed the store window, he stepped out through the hole onto the sidewalk and into the front pages of the daily papers..."

Dali returned to Europe — convinced, in spite of his experiences in New York, that America was now the only country that enjoyed an unusual degree of liberty.

 


Mad Tristan
c. 1939
 


Metamorphosis of the Five Allegories of Giovanni Bellini
1939

 


Psychoanalysis and Morphology Meet
1939

 


Gradiva Becoming Fruits, Vegetables, Pork, Bread, and Grilled Sardine
1939

 


Gradiva, She Who Advances
1939

 


Portrait of Gala (unfinished; detail)
1939

 


Study for Portrait of Gala
1939

 


Group of Figures
1939

 


Car Clothing (Clothed Automobile)
1941

 


Original Sin
1941

 


Figures on the Stairs
1940
 

Jewel
1941

 

The Eye of Time
1941


 

The Persistence of Memory
1941
 

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