June 28, 2008

Salvador Dalí at MoMA

Most of us are familiar with the Surrealist paintings and objects of Salvador Dalí - the melting clocks, the burning giraffes, the baguettes on bicycles - but did you know that he was a master of the moving image as well?

In fact, as the soon-to-open exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in New York points out, Salvador Dalí was obsessed with film making for most of his career. "Dalí: Painting and Film" looks at the work of this 20th Century icon in a new light by presenting a selection of both his classic paintings, drawings and sculptures alongside the motion pictures they inspired.
From his earliest silent film with Luis Buñuel, "Un Chien Andalou", 1929, to the animated short "Destino", a collaboration with Walt Disney that was abandoned and finally completed posthumously, this exhibition explores how film influenced his paintings and vise versa. Sometimes creepy, sometimes dreamy, these films are always brilliantly original in iconography and pictorial strategy and a testament to his creative genius. The clever juxtaposition of several Dalí masterworks with the continuously playing videos effectively illustrated just what a multi talented genius he was.

"Dali: Painting and Film" opens next week and will run through the summer. In conjunction with the gallery exhibition, the MoMA theater is offering a series of screenings of both Dalí's own films and those that inspired him. The perfect diversion on a hot summer day!

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