DescriptionSALVADOR DALÍ (Spanish, 1904-1989)
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.
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.
*Heritage Auctions strives to provide as much information as possible but encourages in-person inspection by bidders. Statements regarding the condition of objects are only for general guidance and should not be relied upon as complete statements of fact, and do not constitute a representation, warranty or assumption of liability by Heritage. Please note that we do not de-frame lots estimated at $1,000 or less and may not be able to provide additional details for lots valued under $500. All lots are sold "AS IS" under the Terms & Conditions of Auction.
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