SALVADOR DALÍ (Spanish, 1904-1989). Working maquette for Dalí, April 14 to May 5, 1943 at the Galleries of M. Knoedler a...
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Heritage Auctions - Design District Annex
1518 Slocum Street
Working maquette for Dalí, April 14 to May 5, 1943 at the Galleries of M. Knoedler and Company, Inc. New York: [Art Aid Corporation], 1943. Spiral-bound quarto. 24 leaves, 48 pages total. Illustrated with 16 original tipped-in sketches, thirteen of which are sepia pen and ink and three in pencil. One tipped-in photo reproduction. In a custom clamshell box. Generally very good.
12 x 9 inches (30.5 x 22.6 cm) Salvador Dali is considered one of the major Surrealists of our time and perhaps the finest draughtsman in the middle period of the 20th century. He lived an extraordinary larger than life--of fame, genius, glamour and self-promotion. Dalí moved to New York in 1940 with his wife Gala to flee the War in Europe. His first major exhibit was in 1941 with fellow Spanish countryman and Surrealist Joan Miro at the Museum of Modern Art, which became a fantastic success. Gala and Dalí were beautiful and famous, living at the fashionable St. Regis Hotel, and rich people were sucked into their vortex. Dalí began working with the famous magazines of the day: Town & Country, Vogue and Harper's Bazaar, but was already (in)famous for his bizarre window display at Bonwit Teller, when he steered a Persian lamb lined bathtub through the plate glass window. The couple were social magnets creating friendships with the social elite of New York, both as collectors and patrons.
This maquette is a fascinating look into the working process and mind of one of the genius' of the Surrealist Movement at the height of his career. The artist took a previous catalogue on the work of "El Greco" and used it as the base to create his vision for his upcoming Knoedler exhibit. These 16 pen and ink sketches show a sure hand, exploring ideas about layout, presentation and display. The French prose written by Gala from her husband's stream-of-consciousness dictation create a marvelous manifesto for this exhibit at Knoedler, one of the premier art galleries in New York. His parting statement in the catalogue, describes the first half of the offerings in this show: "For all my imitators, for all my detractors, for all my polemicists, I have but one unique response, probably the most difficult to furnish today: a good drawing." But Dalí also understood the value of famous friends, so the second half of the exhibition catalogue is devoted drawings of his socialite portraits. The portraits include Mrs. Ortiz de Linares, wife of the Bolivian ambassador living in Paris, Mrs. Harrison Williams, voted the Best Dressed Woman in the World, and Princess Artchil Gourielli (aka Helena Rubenstein), who Dalí designed for in 1941.
This never seen before offering is fresh to the market, from the present owner by inheritance. It is a unique opportunity to acquire a rare, early and special work by Salvador Dalí that shows his art, his writing and his influences. A letter of authenticity from Nicolas Descharnes accompanies this lot.
Present owner by inheritance.
This lot has been authenticated by NicoIas Descharnes, Sept. 2, 2011.
This lot will also be accompanied by the published version of the exhibition catalogue.
Condition Report*:Covers somewhat worn with ink and pencil markings. Spiral binding lightly cracked but intact. Pages have some light wear, with a few of the tabs occasionally torn. Tipped-in pages have glue appearing through, with some loss at top of last four out of six leaves at rear where blanks had apparently been removed during the layout process. Some minor tears or adhesion with two pages near the end almost separated from the binding. Drawing in sepia ink and pencil, as well as ink supplementary text, remain bright.
Dalí, Salvador:Salvador Dalí (May 11, 1904 – January 23, 1989) was a charismatic and celebrated Surrealistic Spanish Catalan artist. Working across a variety of media, Dali’s work is characterized by a Surrealistic approach, with nods to Dada and an influence of classical painting. Dali was a consummate showman and gifted self-promoter. He seems to have come by his dramatic style honestly. His parents told him he was the reincarnation of the older brother, also named Salvador, who had died nine months before the artist’s birth. In 1922, Dalí studied at the Real Academia de Bellas Artes. During this time he formed friendships with some of the leading artists of the day, such as Federico Garcia Lorca, Pepin Bello, and Luis Bunuel. Dali then took Paris by storm, meeting Picasso, who had heard of the young artist through a mutual friend, Joan Miro. It was around this time that Dali created one of his finest sartorial masterpieces: his trademark thin upturned mustache. In 1929, Dali met his model/mistress/muse/wife/business manager, Gala, a Russian immigrant ten years his senior. This relationship sustained both for fifty years. Dalí is famous for the sensuous, dream-like, and bizarre imagery of his artwork. He is best known for collaborating with Bunuel on the screenplay for the surrealist film Un Chien Andolou, 1920, the painting “The Persistence of Memory,” 1931 (whose inspiration was said to be a melting slab of camembert cheese), and the sculpture “Lobster Telephone,” 1936. During WWII, Dali and New York influenced and inspired one another (1940-1948). Afterwards, Dali and Gala returned to Spain. Dali passed away on January 23, 1989, leaving a legacy of playfully provocative artwork.
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