Friday, May 22, 2009

The Salvador Dali Museum

One quarter of my grade in Art History is a report on one of three area museums. One choice was underwhelming, but two are museums that I've wanted to visit. The question was, would I head down to Sarasota to the Ringling or St. Pete for the Dali?

The Ringling's website made it sound more suited towards a family outing, so I chose to visit the Salvador Dali Museum instead. It was tough to go alone, because Ed has said many time that he wanted to visit. However, with my student ID admission was free, so I'll go back with him someday soon.

What an impressive collection of Dali's works, starting from when the artist was 13 to works that were completed in the late 1970's. The museum houses seven of Dali's 13 Masterworks. Alas, they do not have the most famous Dali work, The Persistence of Memory. (It's housed at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.)


Still, what IS there is just mind blowing. I've frequented many museums in my life, and enjoyed quite a few National Gallery exhibitions of a featured artist, but this was the first time that I've seen one artist's work from beginning to end.


Dali was an artistic chameleon. Most of his early works reflect influences from the great masters of the era. He was a gifted impressionist, creating works at the age of 13 that rivaled Monet. Once he went off to study art as a young adult, he would explore realism, cubism and other concepts, easily mastering them.

The cool thing about walking a gallery that features one artist is that recurring themes are so much more apparent-you can go back and forth and notice the father/son, how many times Gala shows up, the Christ of St John of the Cross and other minor images.


My assignment had several steps to it, and I thought it'd be easy. Follow my professor's directions, choose a couple of works to write about and I'd be done.

Wrong.

Now that I've been to the museum, there is so much more I need to research before I can write a 900 word essay! We are expected to compare and contrast one of Dali's earlier pieces with two of his later works that are not oil on canvas. The gallery had only 5 pieces that fit the criteria, and 3 of them were ink on paper studies that lead to oil on canvas works. This leaves two Gouache on panels if I really want to explore complete works. Those Gouache pieces intrigue me, because it is a tough item to create with. The fact that he was able to get such small, crisp detail with what is essentially pigmented wax is incredible.

Tomorrow morning will find me at the library. Hopefully I will find decent pictures of the images I wish to compare and contrast...

4 People talked back:

Sara Bonds said...

I am hopping over from the Blog-A-Thon. I am trying to hit everyone this weekend (I have a lot of hopping to do). *hehe*

Have a wonderful and safe three day weekend!

ligirl said...

You know how I became so intrigued by Dali? I remember watching MTV and seeing "Time Heals" and Todd Rundgren dancing on "The Persistence of Memory" in the video. I HAD to know what that artwork was. A fan was born. (of Dali, that is...Todd Rundgren? He's OK)

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