Artículo de Información
What's on in Dalí year
Last month Spain kicked off a year of Salvador Dalí
celebrations. Peter Stone picks out the best of the 2004 festival
— and tells the story of the artist's life.
The life of Dalí
Salvador Dalí was one of the most famous and colourful
characters of the modern Spanish art world.
Born in the northern Catalan town of Figueras in 1904 and son
of an imminent notary, he started painting early and at the age
of 18 embarked on a Fine Arts course in Madrid.
At the Residencia de Estudiantes he struck up a friendship with
the poet Federico García Lorca and cineaste Luis Buñuel
and produced several avant garde projects before heading on for
Paris where he immersed himself in the world of surrealist artists
and sculptors. His Spectre of Sex Appeal and other provocative
works such as The Great Masturbator — which now resides
in Madrid’s Reina Sofia museum — date from then.
In 1929 Dalí met Russian born Helena Diakanova, known
more commonly as Gala, and she became his muse, model and constant
companion. Together they went to New York at the beginning of
World War II and returned to Europe in 1948, with Dalí
now a great success.
The artist spent long periods painting at his house and workshop
(today a museum) in the tiny Mediterranean hamlet of Port Lligat,
whose strange rock formations and luminous turquoise inlet –
crystal clear in the perennial Tramontana wind — proved
an invaluable source of spiritual inspiration. “It was in
Port Lligat that I learned to limit and file down my thoughts
so that they would acquire the sharpness of an axe,” he
It was in Port Lligat that I learned to limit and file down my
thoughts so that they would acquire the sharpness of an axe.
The Dalí museums in northern Cataluña contain much
of his most personal work and 2004, the centenary of his birth,
will see a variety of celebrations and exhibitions both in Figueras
and at the tiny nearby township of Púbol, whose castle
was Gala’s residence in the 70s and Dalí’s
in the early 80s. Here, in addition to the permanent display of
paintings given by the artist to his muse, a further batch of
previously unseen works (“dibujos inéditos”)
will be exhibited next March.
The main events of Spain’s Dalí Year will take place
during 2004 and part of 2005. A comprehensive programme will include
exhibitions, film shows, theatre concerts and symposiums, as well
as the publication of Dalí’s complete works in Catalan
and Spanish, including eight volumes of novels, plays and poetry
written by the artist.
The Spanish programme officially began on 6 October when King
Juan Carlos launched Dalí Year at the painter’s Figueras-based
Theatre-Museum, an impressive surrealist art centre that can seat
up to 500 people. Two weeks later further homage was made when
an airbus 340-60 was christened “Salvador Dalí”
in Barcelona's El Prat airport.
What's on in Figueras
Plans for 2004 in the Figueras area are varied and comprehensive.
Between January and May an exhibition of work by local photographer
Joan Vehí will be held at the Museum of Cadaqués,
the picturesque white coastal town adjoining Port Lligat. Special
lighting will illuminate Figueras throughout the year and the
house where the artist was born, built by architect Josep Azenar
at the turn of the century, is being totally refurbished.
On 11 May a Grand Centenary festival will be held, followed by
a national lottery draw on 22 May beside the Dalí Theatre-Museum.
Further plans for his home town include the erection of a weathervane
sculpture by Lluis Vato dedicated to Dalí, and the commemoration
by the town council of the "Grand Cuillière",
an anthological exhibition originally held in Paris at the Pompidou
centre in 1980
For more details of all these events check the following Dalí
Centres in Figueras: the Fundación Gala-Salvador, the Town
Hall, and the Museums of l'Empordá and the Junquet de Catalunya.
What's on in Barcleona
In Barcelona the main exhibitions take place between 27 January
and 23 May.
The Catalan capital’s Centro de Arte Santa Mónica
will be featuring an exhibition of work by individual artists
influenced by the surrealistic master while a further show titled
Dalí y el Retrato Complice concentrates on his relationship
with photographers such as Francesc Catalá-Roca and Carles
At the Palau Robert (Robert Palace) there’ll be a display
of 70 photos of the great man taken between 1948 and 1990 and
the Sala Verdaguer del Palau Moja will be running a programme
called "Las afinidades electivas" illustrating Dalí's
affinities with Man Ray, Tanguy, Gaudí and other eccentric
luminaries of the art world.
The Biblioteca de Catalunya will in turn be covering the artist's
life through a series of books, and from July to October the Fundación
Miró will be dominated by the "Manifiesto Groc"
which centres round an iconoclastic "anti-artistic"
proclamation signed by Dalí.
For movie enthusiasts there’s an added bonus: a filmoteca
season screening Buñuel-Dalí collaborations like
L’Age d’Or and Un Chien Andaloue and scenes from Spellbound
in which Alfred Hitchcock used Dalí backdrops for the Gregory
Peck dream sequences. The movie programme will also leave the
Catalan capital to tour Gerona, Figueras, Lleida, Olot, Terrassa,
Vic and Manresa.
Most notable of all Barcelonan homages to the surrealistic maestro
will be the Cultura de la Masas show at the Caixaforum containing
300 paintings, sketches, films and personal objects. The exhibition
examines a key period when Dalí was breaking down barriers
between high and low-brow cultures by using cars, phones and mass
consumption products. (In the 50s and 60s he also explored other
avenues, blending religion, science and history, and producing
masterpieces like “Christ of St. John of the Cross”.)
What's on in Madrid
The Caixaforum exhibition will later move to Madrid’s huge
Reina Sofia, modernist member of the Spanish capital's "golden
triangle" of museums (the other two being the Prado and the
Thyssen-Bornemisza). Here a new salon with five Dalí works
valued at a total of USD 4.5 million is being opened and among
the most important pieces on display will be the 1924 cubist-influenced
oil work Siphon and Bottle of Rum, as well as Nude in Water and
San Sebastian, both of which date from 1927.
Main Madrid exhibitions will take place between 22 June and 30
August, preceded in May by a seminar at the Residencia de Estudiantes
on the creative quartet formed by Dalí, Lorca, Buñuel
and Pepín Bello.
A new book The First Salvador Dali (1914-36) is being published
by Ricardo Mas and the Grupo Planeta company is due to issue a
bibliophile edition of Don Quijote, with a limited print run of
998 copies, each containing facsimile reproductions of the 38
illustrations Dalí created in 1945.
In late autumn a Dalí-conceived version of Zorrilla’s
play Don Juan Tenorio will be performed at the Maria Guerrero
What's on outside Spain
Spain is not the only country celebrating the centenary of their
great surrealist artist. Commemorative activities in honour of
the Dalí centenary are scheduled to take place in cities
as diverse as Perpignan, Rotterdam, Venice, Philadelphia and S.
Petersburg, Florida (where governor Jeb Bush’s wife, Colomba,
quick off the mark, launched the US programme in the town's own
Dalí museum two months ago.