Dalí, the nostalgic innovator
A handout picture from the Foro Grimaldi of its Salvador Dalí retropsective, Monco, Jul 6, 2019. EFE/Foro Grimaldi Handout
Monaco, Jul 6 (efe-epa).- Salvador Dalí was both an innovator of the artworld and a nostalgic and his art, although transgressive and in a state of constant flux, had a recurrent theme that connected him to the great masters of art history, the curator of a retrospective show in Monaco told Efe.
The work of Dalí as a painter is being rediscovered by Monaco’s Grimaldi Forum, a gallery that pays tribute to the Spanish artist starting Saturday by hosting the first display of his paintings in the Principality.
Dalí did not spare compliments for himself, as he deemed himself a great painter compared with his contemporaries, referring to himself as “Salvador (rescuer) of the modern painting”, a play on the Spanish word for "savior", which was also his first name.
The show "Dalí, A History of Painting" aims to shed light on an artist obsessed with painting and his relations with his contemporaries with an emphasis on his links with the Renaissance great masters.
Although the 4,000-square meter exhibit offers viewers a chance to see Dalí as more than just a painter by exhibiting fragments of his writing and showcasing his work in cinema and theater, the Grimaldi Forum focuses on his phase as a professional painter.
The show, which commemorates the 30 years since the Spaniard died, includes paintings, drawings and photos that go behind his public persona and project an artist fascinated by the domain and the study of pictorial technique and the history of art.
In 1948, with the publishing of "50 Secrets of Magic Craftsmanship", he opted to use words rather than colors to defend the classic painters' technical skill he thought modern ones lacked.
The book is one of the pillars of the retrospective.
"Dalí presented a comparative table of values, based on his personal analysis, and created over the course of 10 years," Monste Aguer, the show's curator told Efe.
In this analysis, he compared art history greats, including himself, and scores them across different disciplines such as technique, color and composition.
Dalí immersed himself in the classics at an early age when his father gifted him art books.
From that moment "the great masters such as Vermeer, Rafael o Leonardo accompanied him right through to his last paintings in which he returned to Velázquez and Miguel Ángel, the curator added.
"In Dalí there is always a junction between innovation and tradition. He innovates, is ahead of his time, but always has an eye on the past, on the painters whom he considers masters," Aguer added.
The exhibit accompanies the artistic evolution of Dalí from Impressionism to Surrealism passing through Cubism.
In the last phase, Dali tried to go beyond the painting and resorted to science through optical effects, geometry and architecture.
"Dalí was in constant evolution, but there was always a common thread, which was the great masters," Aguer concluded. EFE-EPA