Salvador DALI |
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Spain 1904 - 1989
Born in Figueres, Catalonia, in 1904, died 23 January 1989, Figueres (Spain)
His father was a free-thinker and agnostic who quoted Voltaire and had a volatile temper. Later in life he was to become a Roman Catholic and a Republican.
In 1907, his sister, Ana Maria was born. The young Salvador was the only young male in a female-dominated household, where his over-protective mother, grandmother, aunt and nurse cosseted him. He was prone to tantrums and self-induced coughing fits and, in order to upset his father, deliberately wet the bed until the age of eight, when he discovered that he could upset him more by bad behaviour at school.
His father - in accordance with his free-thinking principles - sent him to a local community school, where he encountered the strange teacher Estaban Trayter and was bullied by the other boys, all of whom came from poor families. After a year, he still couldn’t read or write and his father sent him to the Colegia Hermanos de las Escuelas Cristianas, where he was a lazy pupil.
The family spent its summers at Cadaques on the coast, where Dali produced his first painting at the age of 10.
From age 11 to 15 he attended the Marist School. His eccentricities became more marked and his classmates teased him. He was expelled for disruptive behaviour and transferred to the Instituto General y Technico, where he did better academically.
In 1919, he had his first public art exhibition. He also went to football matches and on picnics with his family, although later (when he had invented a “new” childhood for himself) he denied it.
In 1921, his mother died and he became very close to his sister. Until 1929 she was his only female model.
In 1921, he went to Madrid Fine Arts School, because his father wanted him to have a qualification which would allow him to teach. Here he met and became friends with Luis Bunuel and Lorca. He began to paint Lorca, who replaced Ana Maria as Dali’s chief model.
Dali got himself expelled from the School in 1926 as he wanted to go to Paris. For the next three years, however, he spent his time painting at home. He also continued to cultivate eccentricity and to suffer from the paranoia which he claimed was a source of inspiration to his work.
In 1927, his exhibition included works that were Cubist and Neo-cubist. One of his paintings was bought by the Pittsburgh Museum of Modern Art.
In the same year he had to do his military service. He continued painting Lorca, but his La Miel es Mas Dulce que la Sangre (honey is sweeter than blood) and Els Esforcos Esterils (sterile effort) may have suggested that Dali felt they were no longer twin souls. The heartily homophobic Bunuel tried to separate the two when Dali went to Paris to work with him on the first surrealist film Un Chien Andalou (1929). Their second surrealist film L’Age d’or (1931) caused riots in Paris.
Dali met Gala Eluard, born Helena Deluvina Diakonoff, a Jewish convert to Russian Orthodoxy from Kazan. Gala was married to the poet Paul Eluard, by whom she had a daughter, Cecile. Dali and Gala eloped together. It is not known if their affair was consummated, as Dali hated to be touched, but she looked after him for 53 years.
In the 1920s he experimented with a variety of styles and was influenced by the Italian metaphysical painters. In 1929, after reading Freud on dreams, he arrived at his mature surrealist style and became a member of the surrealists in Paris. His pictures were "hand-painted dream photographs" of sub-conscious images - the Persistence of Memory (1931) and Burning Giraffe (1935).
In the early 30s, Dali’s interest in Hitler, and not Lenin, upset many of his surrealist friends, who believed in Marxist principles.
In 1933, Dali escaped over the French border on the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War. Picasso lent him the money to travel to the USA, where he had a successful exhibition in 1934.
Dali’s attitude to the Civil War was rather unsavoury. Although his sister was arrested and tortured, Lorca was shot, and the peaceful world of his childhood lay ruined and depopulated, he changed sides when he realised that Franco would win.
In 1940, Dali escaped from France to Lisbon and then back to America. He and Gala went to New York, where he designed theatre sets and up-market shop interiors. In 1941, he had his first retrospective exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art.
His old friend, Luis Bunuel, had been unemployed since 1939 and, with a wife and two children to support, was grateful to get a job at the Museum. Dali described Bunuel in his autobiography as an atheist and a communist. This got Bunuel the sack. "He was a bastard," Bunuel said, "I told him his book had ruined my career." the surrealists in the USA never forgave Dali this betrayal.
In 1955, he returned to Spain and supported Franco. After 1950, many of his works were religious in theme but he also continued to explore erotic subjects. In the 60s he began to produce sculpture and wrote two more volumes of his autobiography. He became the centre of attention for the tide of hippies that arrived at Port Lligat where he lived.
In 1981, Dali was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease and the following year Gala died.
In 1982, the Salvador Dalí Museum, owned by the Reynolds Morse couple, was inaugurated in St. Petersburg (Florida). On 10 June Gala died in Portlligat. Spain's King Juan Carlos I appointed him Marquis of Púbol. Salvador Dalí went to live at Púbol Castle.
In 1983, A major anthological exhibition, 400 works by Salvador Dalí from 1914 to 1983, was held in Madrid, Barcelona and Figueres. His last pictorial works date from this period.
In 1984, Following a fire at Púbol Castle, he moved for good to Torre Galatea, Figueres, where he was to remain until his death.
In 1989, Dalí died in Figueres on 23 January 1989 and was buried in his museum in Figueras.
2016 Jean-Luc Pouliquen, Dali, son mécène et le président, CIPP.
2012 Thierry Dufrêne, Double image, double vie, Paris, Hazan, 280p.
2008 Jean-Pierre Thiollet, Carré d'art. Barbey d'Aurevilly, Byron, Dalí, Hallier, Croissy-sur-Seine, Anagramme éd.
2007 Astrid Ruffa, Philippe Kaenel, Danielle Chaperon (éd.), Salvador Dalí à la croisée des savoirs, Paris, Éd. Desjonquères.
2007 Elisabetta Gallingani et Chiara Di Cesare, La Grande Histoire de l'Art : Dictionnaire biographique des artistes - I, ouvrage collectif, t. 22, Paris, E-ducation.it S.p.A. et Mediasat Group S.A.
2007 Elisabetta Gallingani et Chiara Di Cesare, La Grande Histoire de l'Art : Du cubisme au surréalisme, ouvrage collectif, t. 12, Paris, E-ducation.it S.p.A. et Mediasat Group S.A.
2006 Jean-Gabriel Jonin, Jours intimes chez Dalí, Rafael de Surtis-Editinter.2006 Dalí, La Vie secrète de Salvador Dalí : Suis-je un génie ?, Lausanne, L'Âge d'Homme, 740p.
2005 Catherine Millet, Dalí et moi, Paris, Gallimard, coll. « Art et Artistes ».
2004 Lluís Llongueras, Dalí, Mexico, Ediciones B.
2004 Jordi Puig, Sebastià Roig Dalí. Le triangle de l'Ampourdan, Triangle Postals.
2004 Linde Salber, Salvador Dalí, Köln, Rowohlt, 160p.
2004 Amanda Lear, Mon Dalí, Michel Lafon, 34 p.
2004 Jean-Christophe Argillet, Le Siècle de Dalí, éd. Timée.
2004 Michel Nuridsany, Dalí, Flammarion, 471p.
2003 Robert Descharnes & Nicolas Descharnes, Le Dur et le Mou, Eccart, 285p.
2002 Robert Descharnes, Dalí. L'héritage infernal, Paris, Ramsay-La Marge.
2001 Robert Descharnes et Gilles Néret, Dalí : Œuvre peint, Taschen.
2001-2004 Robert Descharnes et Gi ...
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