BY SARA DARLING
Even though he was a Catalan native, Salvador Dalí’s work is not highly regarded in the Spanish city of Barcelona; Not revered with the same affection as his contemporaries, Max Ernst, Picasso, Man Ray, Cecil Beaton or Brassaï, his work thus far, has not made any great impact on the city.
In fact there are no permanent works on show, and his presence to be taken seriously as an artist have long thought to be snubbed in favour of more serious artists. It didn’t help that he regularly visited (and befriended) Snowflake, an albino gorilla living in the Barcelona zoo... and was seen as a party animal who opposed the system.
Although regarded as a bit of a joke, Dali enjoyed his time in the city, spending time with his wife Gala in the Ritz Hotel (now called El Palace). He regularly hosted parties and art events and is reported to have appreciated fine dining at local restaurants: Set Portes, Quo Vadis and La Orotava being particular favourites. His fondness for flamenco dancing and rumba shows are also said to have influenced his creativity.
It was only after his death in 1989, that he was celebrated as a key figure in twentieth-century art. Almost thirty years later, an exhibition of previously unseen works, commemorating his wife Gala, is showcasing in Barcelona’s MNAC.
‘Gala Salvador Dalí. A Room of One’s Own in Púbol’ is an intimate showcase of Dali’s relationship with art- which is shown for the first time as intrinsically linked with his lover, best friend and muse, Gala. Such a unique relationship meant that Gala was as vital to Salvador's vision, and became so so influential, Dali began to sign his pieces with both their names - Gala-Salvador Dalí.
Partaking in the artist movement as a model, moderator and observer, Gala independently formed connections with some of the most famous artists of the period, counting Max Ernst, René Char and René Crevel as friends; You can also see her form in several Man Ray paintings as she sat as a model for him. Even though she did not pick up a paintbrush, she played a vital role, and was a key figure in the movement’s history.
This unique show, embodies 60 of Dali’s works, including oil paintings, drawings and sketches featuring (or inspired by) Gala on show. Other unseen pieces include personal letters, photographs, engravings, postcards and books that belonged to Gala, as well as dresses and trinkets from her personal boudoir. Also on show are connected works from Picasso, Man Ray, Max Ernst and Cecil Beaton who were all associated with the Surrealist movement, and give a thoroughly complex insight into the era.
See the exhibition at Museum Nacional
Inntravel’s self-guided, fly-drive holiday, ‘In Search of Dali’ covers the Dali Triangle amongst discovering great food and wine and charming villages in eastern Catalonia.
Visitors to Catalonia can take a one-day tour of the Dalí Triangle with Viator, with prices from £107:
For further information on the Dalí Triangle visit:
www.salvador-Dalí .org/en/museums/the-Dalí nian-triangle/
For information on visiting Catalonia visit:
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