Detail from Salvador Dali's painting "Three young surrealist women holding in their arms the skins of an orchestra"

Women: Dalí’s View

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June 13, 2008 – September 24, 2008

A selection of over 90 works from the permanent collection (painting, drawing, watercolors, prints and objects) representative Dalí’s various creations of the female image.

The selected works help trace the progression of Dalí’s depiction of women from his early student days – images of varioius women as models in academic studies – to a later period when Gala becomes his chief model and muse. As a young man, the artist’s sister Ana Maria was a prominent model. Girl’s Back (1926) depicts Ana Maria’s head as viewed from behind in a Renaissance style. By 1928, Dalí is searching for a more experimental style – and the woman in The Bather takes on disconcerting transformations and fragmentations. Dalí’s treatment of the female during the Surrealist period varies, at times imbued with a disturbing eroticism, or evoking maternal and the “eternal feminine” interpretations based on mythological figures. In a mid-career work, Enchanted Beach with Three Fluid Graces (1938), Dalí treats the three female figures as the Three Fates.The surrealist and Freudian muse Gradiva becomes the spectral image of a woman as the object of obsession and the repressed forces of unconscious desire. His wife, Gala who becomes his exclusive model, is shown in this exhibition to gather all the many guises of woman.

The exhibition curated by Joan Kropf and Dirk Armstrong.

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