Dali and His Books

In collaboration with the Spanish Embassy in Athens, the Teloglion Foundation of Art, the Spanish-Hellenic Cultural Center of Thessaloniki, Federico Garcia Lorca, the Cervantes Institute, the Dali Foundation, and the Miro Foundations, as well as the Thessaloniki Museum of Photography.

Dalibros

An exhibition of photography and printed material from the Dali Foundation and the Cervantes Institute, and the first departmental presentation of the Spiteri archives from the Teloglion Foundation.

The idea for this exhibition was formed in 2004, the year in which the 100th birthday of Salvador Dali was celebrated. The exhibition shows a less well-known side of Dali as a writer, as well as a reader, his relationship with books being a source of inspiration and knowledge, as well as a reference point.

(...) The personal library of Salvador Dali, which is kept at the Center for Dali Studies, at the Gala-Salvador Dali Foundation, is composed of books concerning various subjects: art, architecture, literature, philosophy, politics, history, alchemy, medicine, physics, mathematics, biology, biochemistry, natural sciences, dictionaries, and encyclopedias. Dali was a fanatic reader. From his adolescence, he was an anarchist and a romantic. Dali’s books, which reached our hands, number around 4,337, 228 of which have his notes and drawings in them.

(...) The exhibition includes a series of photographs, in retrospective, chronologically, as well as subject-wise, that have to do with Dali, Gala, Gala and Dali, and always, either directly or indirectly, with the common theme of books—books from their library, many of which show Dali’s influence. The photographs, the basis and root of this exhibition, help us delve into a private world. They show another world as well, one more public, in which Dali is shown searching for the appropriate angle to “pose” in front of the lens in order to attract the most attention, a Dali who acts and wants to challenge us. A characteristic example is a snapshot in Coco Chanel’s atelier, in her country home “La Pausa”, in Roquebrune, France. In this entire collection, the photographs which are most important are those that show the atelier of the artist, the place where he created and that inspired him. Also important are his photographs with books, his or foreign, and the library at his house in Port Lligat, a wooden library, placed high above the fireplace which reaches from one end of the wall to the other.

(...) This exhibit confronts the books as a symbol of the reformational power of artistic creation, and as a source of literary inspiration, and through the relationship of Dali and Gala with their books, we can, in turn, learn a bit more about them as individuals.

(...) Salvador Dali is always one step ahead: he doesn’t just gain knowledge while reading, but he becomes part of the book, and often, imposes his opinion in notes, so that the book that passes through his hands is transformed into an equivalant of his creative ease. He implements this parallelism. Dali is not confined to the role of a simple reader, he is an exceptional writer and participates in the imaginative or scientific world inspired or presented by books.

Selections from the text of Montse Aguer Teixidor, Director of the Center for Dali Studies of the Gala-Salvador Dali Foundation.

Location: Casa Bianca

Duration of Exhibition: 27/09/2009 until 18/10/2009

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