Salvador Dalí artworks along with Chagall and Buffet are now on display in Korea at the Hangaram Museum at Seoul Arts Center. This innovative exhibition features over one hundred artworks by the three artists, including Dalí sculpture, graphics and furniture.
Dalí paintings, on display are
Sleeping Young Narcissus, (1980
L’Oeil Fleuri, (1944).
Amongst the graphics works on exhibit are several exemplaires from Les Songs Drolatiques de Pantagruel (1973). These colourful images are based on the giants featured in Rabelais's medieval book, Gargantua and Pantagruel. Dalí focused on the connection between the literary world of Rabelais and the artistic world of his contemporary Hieronymus Bosch, whose delirious universe was explored through these graphics.
The Catalan master was not only an extraordinary painter, but also explored a wide range of artistic expressions, from sculpture, literature, cinema, fashion, jewelry and furniture. His interest in furniture began during the 1930’s, when Dalì developed a friendship with Jean Michel Frank, a Parisian furniture designer and he created the Dali furniture collection. Dalí’s focus was on the surrealistic transformation of everyday practical objects into objects of indeterminate use. The culmination of these ideas was a surreal room which was originally laid out in the London home of Dalí’s great patron, Edward James. Surrealist furniture pieces chosen for exhibit here in Seoul are a lamp with crutches, one of Dalí s favourite motifs and a table and s-shaped love seat with sensuous human arms and feet shaped like shoes. In this Dalí exhibition, most important of them all though is Mae West lips sofa, the sofa with red lips which became an icon.
These unique artworks, in gouache and collage, are a set of Tarot cards created by Dalí in the 1960s. It was Gala, Dalí 's wife and lifetime muse, who nurtured his interest in mysticism. Dalí was fascinated by mysticism and the occult, and the tarot cards drew him in, having first emerged as a simple card game in the fifteenth century.
Several of the bronze sculptures and objects in the exhibition, are on loan from the Dalí Universe collection. Dalí sculpture such as The Triumphant Elephant with its impossibly long mosquito legs and the Cabinet Anthropomorphique, as well as Dalí ’s most recognizable icon, the soft watch is depicted in the Dance of Time II bronze sculpture.
The Snail and the Angel bronze sculpture incorporates two of Dalí’s favourite images, ever-recurring in his work; snails and angels. The snail, one of Dalí's fetishes, incorporates the paradox of softness (the animal), with hardness, (the shell). Dalí uses another sharp contrast to further accentuate the characteristics of each figure; the slow movement of the snail, and the speed of the winged messenger. Paradoxically then, the snail, the universal symbol of the idle passing of time, seems to have been given the gift of wings and is riding fluidly moving waves.
The Hangaram Art Museum is South Korea’s leading arts and culture complex. The show runs til September 25, 2016 and details about the exhibition can be found at www.sac.or.kr