Salvador Dali at New Britain Museum of American Art

Photo of Salvador Dali. Photo Courtesy of the New Britain Museum of American Art.

By Olivia Jablonski,
Managing Editor

A showcase of works done by one of the most celebrated and influential artist of all time, Salvador Dali, is currently in exhibition mode at the New Britain Museum of American Art.

The exhibition is titled “The Cycle of Life in Print by Salvador Dali” and held an opening reception on Friday, March 4 to the public to see his unsubstantial work.

In the last three decades, Dali’s work compromised of a rich collection of photographs and prints, acquired by local museum affiliate Frederick C. Ulbrich, Jr. between the years of 1969 and 2014, director of the museum and curator of the exhibition, Ming Jung Kim said.

“The works present the viewer with a rare, yet precise, survey of his artistic career,” Kim said.

Although Dali was born in Spain, he became deeply involved in American art and culture while living in the United States in the 1940s, and his legacy continues to thrive today.

“As an American art museum, we are thrilled to exhibit his work,” Kim said.

“Dali’s dreamlike, Surrealist works capture and delight the imagination, and have long fascinated diverse audiences—from children to adults, and from art lovers to general audiences internationally,” she said.

The stories behind Dali’s work include of diverse subjects ranging from biblical and literary classics to scientific advances in the twentieth century, executing Dali’s signature Surrealist style.

Notable works include Our Historical Heritage (1975), Memories of Surrealism (1971), Homage to Albrecht Dürer (ca. 1970), Alice in Wonderland (1968), and Hamlet (1973) from his art history and his re-appropriation of biblical, historical, and literary themes.

In another section, One’s Identity, illustrates Dali’s interpretation of the technological and artistic advances that he has been a witness to throughout his life and their influences on his work.  This section includes Homage to Leonardo da Vinci (1975), Conquest of the Cosmos (1974), and Lincoln in Dalívison (1977). In the last section, Reflections, the prints illustrate Dalí’s period of personal meditation on his life, art, and the passage of time.

“The museum is thrilled to have this Dali’s exhibition on view,” marketing director Melissa Nardiello said. “The works are so interesting and cover so many topics that the public would not necessarily expect.”

Early on in his career, Dali took an interest in the works of Surrealist artists, and began making frequent trips to Paris, where he became acquainted with artistic luminaries such as Pablo Picasso, Joan Miro, and Rene Magritte.

Throughout the 1930s, Dali became a notable figure in the art world, and was acknowledged for his visionary iconography and flagrant personality, said Kim.

He was featured on the cover of Time Magazine in 1936 and became the face of Surrealism, and went on to produce a lifetime of innovative and highly unique works that remain iconic today.

To sum up, the exhibition practically highlights his printmaking practices and the themes that persisted throughout his career.

Dalí’s characteristic of melting clocks, burning giraffes, butterflies, and eyes prevails that this is an eye-opening exhibit that has his past written all over it.

“It’s a peek into Dalí’s thoughts towards the end of his life when he was this larger than life figure.” Nardiello said.

The exhibition is open to the public through Sunday, June 26 in the Stitzer Family Gallery.

For tours of the exhibit, the dates include: Sundays, Apr. 3, 10, 17, 24, May 1, 15, 29, June 5, 12, 19, 26, 10-11 a.m.

Visit nbmaa.org for more information on admission pricing, programs, and more about the museum.

Feature Photo Courtesy of the New Britain Museum of American Art.