This fall the Meadows Museum, SMU opens two major exhibitions by Salvador Dalí.
Dalí: Poetics of the Small,1929-1936, is the first exhibit to ever focus on the artist’s small-scale paintings. Playing a significant role in Dalí’s Surrealist period, the works, often times measuring as small as 3 by 2 inches, demonstrate his skill in precision and attention to detail. The only venue to present this exhibition, Poetics of the Small, will be on view from September 9 through December 9, 2018 at Meadows.
Plans for this exhibition began shortly after Meadow’s acquisition of Dalí’s painting, The Fish Man (L’homme poisson, 1930) which led to the subsequent realization of just how few technical analyses had been made of his small-scale works.
The Dalí: Poetics of the Small exhibition includes nearly two dozen of the artist’s small scale paintings and spans a time period between 1926 and 1936. Co-curated by Mark Roglán and Shelly DeMaria the collection includes important works such as The Accommodations of Desire (1929, The Metropolitan Museum of Art), Phantom Cart (1933, Fundació Gala-Salvador Dalí, Figueres), and The Weaning of Furniture-Nutrition (1934, The Dalí Museum, St. Petersburg, Florida).
“Despite Salvador Dalí’s global reputation, there is much still to learn about his artistic development and output,” said Mark Roglán, the Linda P. and William A. Custard Director of the Meadows Museum. “In producing so many small-scale paintings, it is clear that the artist saw their size as important, recognizing that within a constrained frame the viewer’s eyes are drawn to details differently. By contrast, the large-format lithographs Dalí created for his Aliyah commission demonstrate an understanding of a different set of traditional artist’s skills, using art to capture and present history and the people involved in shaping it. We are excited to provide visitors with a chance to reconsider one of the 20th century’s most important and engaging artists.” –Mark Roglán
Also at Meadows is Dalí’s Aliyah: A Moment in Jewish History. This exhibit runs from September 9, 2018 through to January 13, 2019. It features a set of rare lithographs created by Dalí to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the founding of the State of Israel. In stark contrast to the accompanying exhibit, Dalí: Poetics of the Small, these works are painted on a large-scale in a very loose and expressionistic style.
Commissioned by New York publisher, Samuel Shore, Dalí created a series of 25 mixed-media paintings that captured significant moments of Jewish history. The title of the exhibition, derives from the Hebrew word for “to rise” and symbolically describes the migration of Jews to their homeland.
Thanks to the generosity of Linda P. and William A. Custard and The Meadows Foundation, in tribute to the Honorable Janet Pollman Kafka, Honorary Consul of Spain, for her twenty years of service to the country, Meadows Museum acquired the rare set of 25 lithographs as a gift.
“The only difference between me and a madman is that I am not mad.” Somehow, this quote by Dalí manages to poetically unravel an epiphany about the paintings of one of the most versatile and prolific artists of the 20th century. These two exhibitions demonstrate his ability to master anything to the extent that no one truly was able to discern who Dalí was. He was not bound to any particular style or theme in his works and was just as obsessed by the smallest details as his was by eroticism, death, and decay. Though chiefly remembered for his paintings, he successfully turned to sculpture, printmaking, fashion, advertising, writing, and even filmmaking.
The Meadows Museum at Southern Methodist University, opened to the public in 1965 after Algur H. Meadow, Dallas businessman and philanthropist, donated his private collection of Spanish paintings, as well as funds to start the museum. Today it is the leading U.S. institution focused on the study and presentation of the art of Spain and is home to one of the most comprehensive collections of Spanish art outside of Spain.