Salvador Dali (1904 - 1989)
In 1929 he was formally invited to join the Surrealist group in Paris. After meeting Surrealist poet Paul Eluard and his wife Gala, he fell in love with the poet’s wife and ran away with her. The following year Dalí and Gala settled at Port Lligat, Spain. In 1934, at the age of 30, Dalí exhibited a group of drawings and engravings inspired by the Comte de Lautréament’s Chants de Maldoror, where he first met Pierre Argillet, a photographer and publisher who would encourage him to publish his visual interpretations of many more auspicious literary works. Argillet himself published many of Dalí’s etchings and drypoints from 1960 to 1973. In 1939 Dalí was formally expelled from the Surrealists for his return to a more classical style and because he refused to support their political agenda. His outrageous statements, such as, "I am Surrealism", further infuriated his Surrealist colleagues, who felt his ego could no longer be contained within the group. In 1940 the Dalís fled France shortly before the Nazi invasion. Picasso paid for their passage from Lisbon to America where they lived for eight years in Virginia, California and New York City, respectively. In the United States, Dalí made initial contact with some of his greatest patrons, and he collaborated with Walt Disney on Destino (finally released in the spring of 2004) and with Alfred Hitchcock on the dream sequence in Spellbound. Upon their return to Europe in 1949 the Dalís continued to live together for two additional decades, but in 1969 Gala moved to Pubol Castle, and permitted Dali to visit her by invitation only. After Gala’s death in 1982, with his muse was gone, Dali’s creative fervor was drastically diminished. He remained an international celebrity, with major exhibitions of his works in cities around the world including Tokyo, London, Paris, Italy and Moscow. Before his death on January 23, 1989, Dalí even witnessed the inauguration of two museums dedicated to exhibiting his art, The Salvador Dalí Museum in Cleveland, Ohio (now in St. Petersburg, Florida) and his own Teatre-Museu in Figureres, where he is buried. Salvador Dali is one of the most celebrated artists of all time. His fiercely technical yet highly unusual paintings, sculptures, graphic works and visionary explorations in film ushered in a new generation of imaginative expression. Salvador Dalí was many things to many people: painter, etcher, sculptor, magician, aspiring alchemist. His parents regarded him as the reincarnation of his deceased older brother Salvador, and they made Dalí his namesake. Living in his brother’s shadow from his birth, the younger Salvador Dalí formed a unique point of view of the world. Visual references to his ever-present, ever-absent brother, the passive figure of a slender man casting a long shadow, would appear in many of Dalí’s works.