Dalí was an interdisciplinary artist in every way, widely recognised as a writer, illustrator, jewellery designer, film maker and sculptor, but he is foremost remembered as the prominent figure within the Surrealist circle. Surrealism as a movement was motivated by the founders’ and participating artists’ focus on challenging the viewer’s concept of rationality and pushing the boundaries of their imagination. Within his “The Surrealist Manifesto” of 1924, André Breton coined the term and noted that Surrealism aims to amalgamate the conscious and unconscious experience; the realms of dream and fantasy and reality, creating “an absolute reality, a surreality.”
Very well-known for his drawings and paintings, a major focus of Dalí’s overall oeuvre was the creation of a collection of bronze sculptures. Limited by what he saw as the boundaries of two-dimensional canvas, Dalí turned to sculpture in order to manifest his Surrealist visions and artistic forms in space. Dalí himself created the original maquettes and designs to be cast in bronze during his lifetime, to be cast in bronze. All the sculptures were cast at famous international foundries in Europe and using the ‘lost wax method’. This method, also known as cire-perdue involves a pouring of molten metal into a mould that has been created by means of a wax model and once the mould is made, the wax model is melted and drained away.
Perhaps the most well-known image associated with Dalí is that of the melting clock, as realised in his paintings such as The Persistence of Memory, 1931 and Melting Watch, 1954. Nobility of Time is the sculptural equivalent and was displayed in monumental 4.9 meters form at the exhibition. The melting clocks represent the omnipresence of time and their dominion over humans, as well as the inevitability of time moving in one direction. Time reigns supreme over both art and reality.
Salvador Dalí was born on May 11, 1904, in Figueres, Spain. From an early age Dalí was encouraged to practice his art and was considered artistically precocious. In 1922, Dalí moved to Madrid in order to study at the Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando where he became well known for his eccentricity and dandyism. He was influenced by several different artistic styles, such as Cubism. Shortly before his final exams in 1926, Dalí was expelled from the Academy when he was accused of starting an unrest. During the 1920s, Dalí visited and worked in Paris, interacting with artists such as Picasso, Magritte and Miró, which led to Dalí's first Surrealist phase.
In August 1929, Dalí met his lifelong and primary muse, inspiration, and future wife Gala, who was a Russian immigrant and ten years his senior when they married in 1934.The rise of fascist leader Francisco Franco in Spain led to the artist's expulsion from the Surrealist movement, but that didn't stop him from painting and continuing his artistic output; thus becoming one of the most globally recognised artists in the world in the process. Dalí died of heart failure at Figueres at the age of 84 in 1989.
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