ERIC SHANES    Book Number: 87318    Product format: Hardback

Salvador Dalí's art retains its ability to bewilder, shock and intrigue, dealing inventively with the nature of reality and appearances. In the autumn of 1927 he had written to his friend Lorca: "Federico, I am painting pictures which make me die for joy, I am creating with an absolute naturalness, without the slightest aesthetic concern, I am making things that inspire me with a very profound emotion and I am trying to paint them honestly..." Dalí had begun wholeheartedly to explore Surrealism and kept in touch with the latest developments in Paris and Spanish Surrealists painters such as Joan Miró and Picasso. All three married realistic landscape settings and rational space with strange and unreal objects. An early example in this magnificent volume is Millet's The Angelus with a male and female labourer downing tools to pray over a basket containing their infant child. Dalí's 1932 Angelus recreates the figures, this time with a hole through the heart of the man, their outlines identical to the original, but with a car crash imagery and rocky road background in bright colours. See his portrait of Gala with Two Lamb Chops Balanced on Her Shoulder of 1933, his hats designed for Elsa Schiaparelli 1936 and Three Young Surrealist Women Holding in Their Arms the Skin of An Orchestra 1936. Everyday objects like a radiator appear in 'Debris of an Automobile Giving Birth to a Blind Horse Biting a Telephone' or the highly erotic 'Honey is Sweeter than Blood' from 1941 with a headless female squeezing her nipple with a bony hand, a mythological minotaur figure disappearing to the top right. Hundreds of examples are reproduced in full page full colour for us to pore over and study in detail. There are Cubist self portraits, Portrait of Paul Eluard with the torso head of a lion metamorphosing with a classical looking head, all projecting sexual aggression. Without doubt his best known and best picture is The Persistence of Memory where the metal of the draped watches cannot be eaten by the ants. For Dalí, the eyes in Visage of War Skull were 'stuffed with infinite death' in his 1940 oil painting, and in The Sheep he brilliantly modifies a kitsch image of a reclining girl pasted on to sheep which have furniture feet in a library room. Viewed from above is The Crucifixion piece from 1951 'Christ of St John of the Cross' and your attitude to time and space is altered in the 'unstill life' where the objects normally situated upon the table are instead flying around it. 256 pages and perceptive analysis of the 149 works reproduced in colour along with commentary revealing the range of Dalí's invention and vision. 10½" x 13". New, full price.
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ISBN 9781844848188
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