Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Permanent Collection Pick of the Week


During this week’s art classes at the Grimsby Public Art Gallery, the kids have been focusing on a particular artist a week. On the first day of class they learned about the 20th century surrealist artist, Salvador Dali. I think Dali is one of the most intriguing artist’s of that era. His work is greatly influenced by the thoughts of the time, such as Sigmund Freud’s theories about the subconscious mind, as well as Albert Einstein’s theory of relativity. For example, Dali’s art illustrates a dream-like atmosphere, loaded with symbolism, reflecting the artist’s personal fears and anxieties.

 While working on my inventory of the gallery’s permanent collection, I found 15 Dali prints just in time to show the art classes. Below are a couple examples of these prints. The first print shows what looks like an angel flying away with a man’s shirt. This drawing seems to express the artist’s fear of death because the angel is attempting to lift the man away to heaven, but fails and only manages to grab his shirt. His fear of death has a lot to do with the way the artist was raised as a child. For example, his parent’s first son (also named Salvador Dali) died, and 9 months later the new Dali was born, and the parent’s firmly believed that he was the reincarnation of their lost son. They treated him like a king, but they also greatly feared his death.

The second print I pulled out is an image of a man in a bath tub. The bath tub is placed outdoors on a lake, with ants crawling on its side. There is an ominous tone to this drawing because of the dark shades and the way the figure is slouched down with his back turned to us. This drawing also portrays a surrealist, dream-like atmosphere with symbols that can be decoded through Freud’s methods of analyzing symbolism in dreams. Overall, this makes an exciting way to learn more about the man behind the art.

Rebecca Madamba
Collections Management

 

Salvador Dali
Untitled (Angel), 1958
Print
Collection of the Grimsby Public Art Gallery, Gift of Dennis Lukas


Salvador Dali
Untitled (Bath Tub), n.d.
Print    
Collection of the Grimsby Public Art Gallery, Gift of Dennis Lukas


 

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