Salvador Felipe Jacinto Dali was born in Figueres in Spain in 1904. From 1921 until 1925, he studied at the Academy San Fernando in Madrid where he became friends with the poet Federico García Lorca and the film-maker Luis Buñuel. His first personal exhibition was organised in 1925 (Dalmau Gallery, Barcelona), where Picasso and Miró discovered his works. Dali was influenced at first by Futurism, then by Cubism (1925). In April 1926, Dali made his first journey to Paris, where he visited Picasso. During a second journey in Paris in 1929, on the occasion of the shooting of Buñuel's film Un chien Andalou (Dali was the co-writer), Miró introduced him to the Surrealist group. Dali met André Breton and Gala, his future wife and muse (she was first Paul Eluard's wife). He adhered to the Surrealist group in 1929. Dali was then interested in the psychoanalytical theories of Freud and he worked out his paranoiac-critical method. A that time, he painted, dreamlike and fantastical spaces full of symbolic elements: soft watches, crutches, fantastic animals, distorted persons. Although he was excluded in 1934 from the Surrealist group, he still participated in demonstrations and Surrealist exhibitions. Dali reinterpreted famous works and particularly gave several versions of the Angelus by Millet.Read More
Breton nicknamed him Avida Dollars. After the Spanish civil war, he committed himself politically behind Franco. During the 40s, he wanted to get closer to reality and he wished to have a more classic pictorial expression, without neglecting to give his works his personal fantasy.
The recurring subjects in his paintings and etchings, were woman, sex, religion, and battles. Dali made a spectacle of himself through his career mixing art and life.
After ten years of effort, Dali opened his own museum, the Teatro Museo Dali in 1974. His last passion was the stereoscopic paintings (1975) and he exhibited one of his first stereoscopic works in New York in 1978. He died in Barcelona in 1989.
Text courtesy Helene Bailly Gallery.
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