In the history of fine arts of the twentieth century, no artist has experienced such popularity and interest for his work of art as Salvador Dali did, who not only with the art, but also with his appearance and unique bizarre and provocative performances, with metaphorically thought-out and acted personal scenarios caused enormous attention with the audience, the media and photo-reporters, the same as the well knows stars of that time.
He was a genius of self-promotion, but this was justified by his versatile gift in all kinds of art, from painting, sculpture, film, photography, architecture and graphics, and has left us with numerous works for which we can say is one of the most interesting, most ingenious and most original opus accomplished in the 20th century. For himself he says “he wakes up every day with a great pleasure because he knows that he is Salvador Dali …”
The designation as a “surrealist”, for Dali is a small bite since his energy and surprising self-evident fantasy of the world, which depicts it, deviate from this definition. This is richly expressed in his prints that will be exhibited at an exhibition at the YCC.
The choice of the Dali’s original graphics is made from two closed maps: Zodiac and the illustrations of La Fontaine’s fables, as well as individual graphic sheets from the Divine Comedy, lithographs on the map of “Les Diners de Gala“, colored engravings of the surrealistic flowers.
The central point of this story is the sculpture of Venus / Giraffe, a gilded bronze in a bizarre Dali’s style as a combination of human and animal forms in a new blend of a fantastic figure.
Through this selection of work, you will see Dalia’s boundless fantasy and his virtuous rule of drawing and we believe that you will enjoy the details and his genious perceptions and witty interpretations of the literary views.
What connects one of the great artists of the 20th century, the famous Spanish surrealist Salvador Dali and the famous 17th century French poet and fabulist Jean de la Fontaine. The curious ones looking for the answer to this question will have it in the gallery of the Youth Cultural Center in Skopje, where from Оctober 7th until November 7th the exhibition “Dali among the Stars and the Fables” will be held.
The exhibition is organized in cooperation with the “Visconti Fine Art Gallery” from Ljubljana and the Central European Cultural Center of New Zealand and is a series of 11 numbered and signed graphics illustrating Jean de La Fontaine’s fables, as well as his portrait seen through the eyes of Salvador Dali and thirteen graphics from the Zodiac series.
The Spanish artist has illustrated the famous fables like “The raven and the fox”, “The horse and the Wolf”, “The Lion’s Yard”, “The sick deer”. This series of etchings was created in 1974 and is printed on 250 graphic boards being kept in many galleries around the world.
Works from the opus “Les Diners de Gala”, “The Divine Comedy”, and the famous Dali’s Horses, as well as a gold-plated sculpture called “The Woman Giraffe” will also be exhibited. In total 29 works from this master of art.
The story about the LaFontaine’s fables originates from ancient times and brings us back to ancient times. From the ancient writers, and especially from Aesop he has borrowed the story line of the fables, and then refreshed them with elements of drama, satire and poetry. The first collection of 124 fables was printed in 1668 under the name “Aeosop’s Fables”, dedicated to the son of Louis XIV.
Many artists have been inspired by the world described in the LaFontaine’s fables, not only painters, but also graphic artists, sculptors, and others. The first illustrations of the LaFontaine fables originate from 1759, when the royal painter Jean Baptiste Oudry illustrated all 245 songs.
Salvador Dali was a great fan of literature, which inspired him to illustrate various texts, starting with the legend about William Tell, through the works of William Shakespeare, Benevento Cellini, Dante Alighieri, Pierre de Ronsardd, Guillaume de Apollinaire, Marquis de Sade, Mao Zedong, as well as the Bible.
La Fontaine’s “Bestiaries” which is full of wondrous creatures, inspired him to create a series of etchings finished with watercolor.
In the text for the exhibition, Christian Sinig-Haas, the director of the Jean de La Fontaine Museum in France said that Dali adapted the illustrations to the moralistic tone of the LaFontaine’s fables and that his work in these graphics is “translucently clean and full of freshness”. According to her words, the delicate color illustration gives a new life and strength to the Dali’s universe of fantasy.
In these works, Dali has demonstrated his skills in the pochoir technique enriching it and finishing it with the color of the graphics. He signed all the boards with a plain graphite pencil, thus confirming their authenticity.
The creative gift of Salvador Dali is seen not only in his works of art, but also in his role as an extraordinary social provocateur, action resulting from his gestures, as opposed to Jean de La Fontaine, who nurtured social behavior, which is fundamentally opposite to Dali’s “iinsanity” who with a remarkable craftsmanship has built for himself a caricature image of a less unfriendly good-natured man and a dreamer. He was known for his absence of mind and forgetfulness, provoking ridicule of the environment with his negligent appearance, appearing in the public with an upside-down wig and unpaired ssocks. Such spiritual immaturity and absence, has undoubtedly expanded his field of action and enabled him to describe the habits and customs of his countrymen with the shaving and cunning language, giving the animals typical human deficiencies.
There is another common trait of the painter and the fabulist: although he did not return that much to the past, Salvador Dali, like Jean La Fontaine, felt great respect for the historical heritage and the art from earlier times.
Unlike La Fontaine’s, Dali’s Bestiarius is sweet neurotic, full of creatures that mock and gesture. Dali’s constants are noticeable on the eleven prints of the LaFontaine’s fables: desert landscapes, anthropomorphic vegetation, double images, woman-horse, long nails of bony hands, raven’s cheese turned into a melting clock, the total melted form, some kind of Dali’s discomfort.
The Spanish painter, photographer, sculptor, writer, designer and film author, Salvador Dali (1904-1989), is remembered in history for his strong and bizarre paintings, but also as one of the most famous representatives of ssurrealism in painting. Apart from his unique way of painting, many experts believe that he was influenced by the Renaissance masters. He collaborated with Walt Disney, Alfred Hitchcock and Luis Buñuel, in whose films he even starred.
Jean de la Fontaine
The French writer and fabulist, Jean de La Fontaine (1621-1695), was born in Château-Théeri in Champagne, in a rich and renowned household. He begins school in Reims, and has a degree in law. Although he was a lawyer, he never worked as one, but he devoted himself to poetry. As of 1683 he is a member of the French Academy as of 1683.
*The exhibition is organized in cooperation with the “Visconti Fine Art Gallery” from Ljubljana and the Central European Cultural Center of Novi Sad.