hello, dalí

The Salvador Dalí show at MoMA, Dalí: Painting and Film, is a kick. The exhibition brings together more than 130 paintings, drawings, scenarios and films by the artist. A super-sized treat awaits you in one of the galleries: an enormous projection of the dream sequence Dalí designed for Spellbound, Alfred Hitchcock’s 1944 suspense classic starring Ingrid Bergman and Gregory Peck. Crazy fab.

And please enjoy the following excerpt from the museum's July/August exhibitions & programs listing. It's great fun.

After exhibiting his Surrealist art at New York's Julien Levy Gallery in 1934, Dalí concluded that his audacious brand of hyperrealistic paintings would inevitably be welcomed by the Hollywood community—the manufacturers of "hallucinatory celluloid." In an exuberant message to André Breton, he declared, "I'm in Hollywood where I've made contact with the three American Surrealists, Harpo Marx, [Walt] Disney, and Cecil B. DeMille. I believe I've intoxicated them suitably and hope that the possibilities for Surrealism here will become a reality."

Dalí had been introduced to Harpo Marx in Paris in 1936, and he was convinced that the mute, curly-haired performer was a kinsman in the Surrealist movement—Harpo's silence was considered by Dalí to be an anarchistic form of rebellion against modern society. In Disney, Dalí envisioned an avuncular ally who rendered childlike imagination into popular culture and was creating a worldwide brand. Finally, and perhaps most curiously, the inclusion of DeMille signals Dalí's own preference for epic historical and religious motifs that teeter on the line between daring modernity and drippy kitsch.

:la rêve (the dream), 1931 - you won't find this painting in the moma show. it belongs to the cleveland museum of art's permanent collection. as fate would have it, i saw the painting in a touring exhibition (monet to picasso) while away on vacation last month; frames from spellbound via dave & bry's flickr


Jen said...

Wow... that quote by Dali about Marx, Disney and DeMille is priceless.

katiedid said...

I have always had a bit of a fascination with Dali. What fun.

tangobaby said...

I love this alternate view of Harpo Marx. I live with a modern incarnation of Harpo (in actions, not appearances) so this is really making me smile.

I remember seeing Un Chien Andalou when I was twelve years old on late night cable tv (when cable was still somewhat anarchic) and being totally flabbergasted and amazed at the same time. My first introduction to Dali. Enjoy the exhibit. It sounds wonderful.