March 4, 2021

Salvador Dalí summer in Monaco | Culture


In 1938, after visiting Freud in London, Salvador Dali and Gala travel to Florence and then settle for four months at La Pausa, the house that her friend Coco Chanel had in Roquebrune (Cap Martin), a few kilometers from Monaco. In this beautiful corner of the Cote d'Azur and in a convulsive moment for Spain and Europe, Dalí paints Imperial violets, where he interprets, based on a painting of gloomy tones, the warlike atmosphere that was lived by the Civil War and shortly after in the Second World War. In 2015 the Gala-Salvador Dalí Foundation he bought it and became part of the dozen surrealist works, the most valued of the painter, which owns the center of Figueres. Imperial Violets, whose title Dalí put him for the film starring Raquel Meyer and directed by Henry Roussell in 1923 that he and Gala saw at Chanel's house, has returned close to the place where it was painted, Forum Grimaldi of Monaco, a modern building that presides over the bay of this small city-country of the French Riviera, to be part of the exhibition Dalí. A history of painting which opened yesterday until September 8.

One of the 48 photographs that show Dalí painting, together with the surrealist work 'La memoria de la mujer-niña', from 1929.


One of the 48 photographs that show Dalí painting, together with the surrealist work 'La memoria de la mujer-niña', from 1929.

The 80 works, 48 ​​photographs and 30 documents that occupy 3,000 square meters of this equipment seem, however, that they have not moved from home. The impressive museography created in Monaco has moved the light and sun of Cadaques, more blue than the one that gives its name to this Monegasque coast, and above all the typical architecture of Portlligat, reproducing the white walls of its simple architecture in the that windows have been opened that leave the sea, the boats or the barracks, as Dali saw them, reproduced in huge photographs. "It is impossible to understand my painting without knowing Portlligat", wrote the painter.

'Dematerialization near the nose of Nero', painted by Dalí in 1947, which can be seen in the exhibition of Monaco.


'Dematerialization near the nose of Nero', painted by Dalí in 1947, which can be seen in the exhibition of Monaco.

The pieces, mostly from the Salvador Dalí Foundation-Gala in Figueres, but also from the Reina Sofia Museum and of The Dalí Museum of Saint Petersburg of Florida, three of the centers that preserve a greater production of the painter of Figueres, are dated between 1910 and 1983 and form a retrospective that allows to discover "the different creative stages of the artist and reveal in what way Dalí found his place in the history of twentieth-century painting, "he explains. Montse Aguer, curator of the exhibition and director of the Dalí Museums, who assures that this is the exhibition that commemorates the 30th anniversary of the death of the painter.

The tour allows you to see their different creative periods. From the first portraits he made to his family, especially his father and his sister Ana Maria, the landscapes of Cadaqués, under the influence of Impressionism (Cadaqués seen from behind, 1921) and cubism, influenced by Juan Gris and Picasso (Figures lying on the sand, 1926). They are followed by pieces that illustrate metaphysical painting and abstraction (Four fisherwomen in Cadaqués, 1928), to then fall into surrealism, a moment in which works like Imperial monument to the woman-girl, of 1929, the year in which he radically changed his life, after meeting Gala from which he never separated again and being expelled from his family, also forever. Also, the forceful The spectrum of sex appeal or Enigmatic elements in a landscape, both of 1934, and Architectural Angelus of Millet, made a year before, as a consequence of the obsession that Dalí felt all his life for the work of Millet and that will lead him to develop his paranoiac-critical method, his great contribution to surrealism.

'Proyecto Romeo y Julieta' (left), from 1942, and 'Proyecto para Tristán loco', from 1944, two works by Dalí that can be seen at the Monaco exhibition.


'Proyecto Romeo y Julieta' (left), from 1942, and 'Proyecto para Tristán loco', from 1944, two works by Dalí that can be seen at the Monaco exhibition.

The return to classicism, religiosity and mysticism, corresponds to the works of large format and nuclear mysticism. Here he has traveled Dematerialization near Nero's nose, of 1947. Knowing Andy Warhol led him to discover American art and hyperrealism; present in the exhibition in copies of the magazine Interview, documentaries and photographs that allow you to see Dalí more pop. Near the end of the tour you can see some of Dalí's scientific obsessions from the 70s to the end of his life: science and new technologies, with stereoscopies and holographs.

"The exhibition claims, above all, the Dalí painter, and does so from one of his fundamental works, his book 50 magic secrets to paint, a painting treatise published in 1948 in which he talks about his recovery of technique and his admiration for greats such as Vermeer, Rafael, Velázquez and Picasso, of whom he felt indebted, "explains Aguer.

The ideal workshop for Dalí, according to the reconstruction that can be seen in Monaco.


The ideal workshop for Dalí, according to the reconstruction that can be seen in Monaco.

Dalí, obsessed by the subject of painting – "I am destined by my name, Salvador, to save modern painting"-, He theorized about what would be his perfect workshop: a huge icosahedron of glass and steel with its 20 faces formed by equilateral triangles. Based on Leonardo's human proportions, he thought of building it outside his house in Portlligat, because "only such a building would produce the most complete sense of calm". Like many other of his geniuses he did not materialize it. In the exhibition this ideal structure has been recreated in full size, and the whole exhibition revolves around it.

Prince Albert and the Infanta Cristina, at the inauguration

Prince Albert II and the Infanta Cristina, during the exhibition tour, during the inauguration.


Prince Albert II and the Infanta Cristina, during the exhibition tour, during the inauguration.

Dalí visited Monaco several times, especially after returning from the United States in 1948. During the months he lived in Portlligat he visited the south of France and this small country where some of his best friends lived, who paid high amounts of money for his works . The huge cadillac that is kept in the Púbol castle where Gala is buried carries the license plate of Monaco; one of the elements that speak of the luxury and the good life that both this unclassifiable couple loved so much. Gala and Dalí would have been delighted with the inauguration of this exhibition on July 5 and be able to share with Prince Albert of Monaco, the Infanta Cristina de Borbón, the Minister of Culture of the Generalitat, Mariàngela Vilallonga, and the director of Reina Sofía , Manuel Borja-Villel, the last three as patrons of the Gala-Salvador Dalí Foundation, among other prominent figures.

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