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General Admission: 18-64 $24
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After 5pm on Thursday: Children $8
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Permanent Collection

Galacidalacidesoxiribunucleicacid

Date: 1963
Material Used: Oil on canvas
Size: 120 x 163 1/2 inches

Dali proclaimed that Galacidalacidesoxiribunucleicacid “is my longest title in one word. But the theme is even longer: long as the genetical persistence of human memory.” The title refers to the discovery of the double spiral form of the DNA molecule by Francis Crick and James Watson. This molecule contains the genetic code of life. Even before the Nobel prize winning scientists made this important discovery, Dali had an obsession with spirals. Their discovery led Dali to declare that the spiral represents the “persistence of human memory,” linking it to his 1931 painting The Persistence of Memory.

This painting’s theme is the cycle of life, death and resurrection. A flooded landscape fills the center of the canvas, a depiction of a deadly flash flood that took place in 1963 in Barcelona. God, in a horizontal pose above the flooded ground, reaches down to raise His Son up into Heaven. According to Dali, the muscles in God’s arm twist in the form of a double spiral. Christ’s body, barely visible, is collapsed around a white-robed Madonna, his head and arm falling down to her right.

This cyclical theme is reinforced by the contrasting formations on the left and right of the work. On the left is a spiral DNA molecule. On the right is a series of cubes composed of figures pointing guns at each other, which Dali says “represents a kind of destruction, like minerals in the process of annihilating themselves.” Thus, between the spiral representing life and the cube representing destruction, God’s resurrection of His Son offers hope to the Barcelonan victims and all who suffer.

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