Dalí Universe in Matera, the city of “the Sassi”

  • Home
  • Dalí Universe in Matera, the city of “the Sassi”
Wednesday, 2018, November 28

Dalí Universe, is proud to present an exhibition dedicated to Salvador Dalí “The Persistence of Opposites” in the historic ‘Sassi’ town of Matera.

More than one-hundred and fifty authentic artworks, ranging from bronze sculpture, to illustrations, glass sculpture and Gold objects, will be on show from Sunday  December 2nd, in the Cave Complex comprising the Church of the Madonna delle Virtù (Our Lady of Virtues) and San Nicola dei Greci (St. Nicholas of the Greeks) in Matera.

Five monumental sized bronze sculptures, reaching as high as seven metres accompany the exhibition, placed in various outdoor locations. The imposing monumental works are “Rhinoceros Cosmique, Space Elephant”, “Dance of Time II”, “Snail and the Angel” and “Surrealist Piano

Since their installation in situ on the  8th and 9th of November, the monumental sculptures have created much media interest, with many visitors uploading photos on social media. The bronze sculptures, with Matera as their background, bring to light Dalí’s unique ability to transform the complex symbolism of his paintings into three-dimensional works.

Dalí once said: “Painting is only an infinitesimal part of my personality”, and, with regard to this, the President of the Dalí Universe, Beniamino Levi, stresses the polyhedric character of the Catalan artist: “in Dalí’s sculptural work, the fantastic, distorted and exaggerated expressions are just as evident, and this makes his work immediately identifiable and unique”.

The exhibition, curated by Beniamino Levi, renowned collector and connoisseur of Salvador Dalí’s body of work, gives visitors the chance to admire one of the most varied Collections of the Catalan artist worldwide, and to appreciate the various “opposites” and juxtapositions of Dalí’s three-dimensional creations.

The exhibition layout is multi-sensorial and puts into focus the principal dualistic concepts of Dalí’s art. The cave complex contains four large themed areas, enabling visitors to experience a profound thought-provoking tour of Dalí’s universe, gaining  an insight into his psychology and artistic inspirations: time, layers,  religion and metamorphosis.

The first area which visitor experience, is dedicated to the theme of ‘Time’, possibly the most well- catalogued of Dali’s obsessions.  A holographic projection of the artist will introduce visitors into this first part of the complex’s itinerary.

The symbolism dedicated to femininity in Dalí’s language will be shown in the next area, reffered to as ‘ Exteriors’ This theme will be presented and analyzed with the aid of 3D projections and art animations, which will help visitors to explore the more profound layers of the unconscious and the numerous symbolic concepts connected to beauty, purity, mystery and youth.

Graphic perceptions, holograms, virtual reality, 3D mapping and audio, will accompany the public in a truly “all round” experience of the fantastic universe of Dalí; to the point where they reach the area dedicated to religion and mysticism, and the finally, “Metamorphosis”. Here everything can be revisited with the “Dalinian eye”, so the visitor will be able to grasp the process of the transformation of objects.

 “The Persistence of Opposites” exhibition engages all of the visitor’s senses, guiding him/her through a spectacularly profound immersion into the unconscious mind of Dalí.

The sculptures on show in the cave complex will have as backdrop the unique and plurimillennial atmosphere of the Sassi rocks complex…this background will add to the effect and fascination  of the exhibition.

We are proud to be able to exhibit the Dalí Universe Collection in Matera”, comments the President of the Dalí Universe, Beniamino Levi, “principally for three reasons. The first is in connection to the fact that the town of Matera will be the European Capital of Culture in 2019, and the first Southern Italian city to achieve this recognition. The second is connected to the scenic layout of the works, which, joined with the background of the Sassi, will be a theatre for the narration of “the opposites” in Dalí’s art. The multimedia elaborations will support the scenic presentations and create suggestions aimed at rendering the visitor a protagonist and so encourage a personal interpretation of the works on exhibition. The third is because January 2019 will be the thirtieth anniversary of Salvador Dalí’s death…in my opinion, to couple this anniversary with the Sassi of Matera as host to an exhibition of Dalì’s works creates a connection which seals the strong bond between Dalí and Italy, a bond which is recognisable in all the artistic works of the Catalan master”.

The inauguration of “The Persistence of Opposites” exhibition has been set for the coming Saturday 1st December, in the cave complex of  Madonna delle Virtù (Our Lady of Virtues) and San Nicola dei Greci (St. Nicholas of the Greeks), and will be preceded by a press conference on Thursday, November 29th.

The exhibition will be opened to the public December 2nd. Beniamino Levi, President of the Dalí Universe, and Nicolas Descharnes, the leading expert on Salvador Dalí, will be present at the inauguration.