Dalí Museum, Figueres (2017) – Art Review

Mad Rush! Where is it? A square. Fish. Trees. Long and bright trees surround us. We ask for directions. That way. We hurry. Suddenly we come to a statue with a mirror. On the floor arced over three stone slabs is a mess of black and white. However when reflected in the mirror this became a face. we were in Figueres and finally managed to find our way. A statue of a distorted man and a flag from a window depicting Figura en una finestra / Figure at Window (p. Salvador Dalí, Oil 1925) confirmed it. We had found the Dalí museum.

Salvador Dalí was a painter from Figueres in Spain, though he spent a lot of time in France and the USA. Closely Affiliated with Surrealism you may recognise him for the ‘melting clocks’ painting: The Persistence of Memory (P. Dalí Oil 1931). His works being far more than painting including sets, models and films; and his contribution to Surrealism includes the Paranoid Critical Method (in brief: deconstructing the self by outside bodies outside normal parameters and invoking subconscious anxieties). His works show many dream-like images that are often very colourful with a few obsessions coming through every once in a while.

With the museum in view right in front of us we could already see many trademark images of Dalí scattered around to stand majestically before us – there is a certain theatricality to his works Entering the museum there’s a grand courtyard where a woman atop a car appears to pull a flying boat that pulls the world or rooftop of the building. We’re immediately teased with paintings from Dalí’s own collection which shows similar ideas for another world. The entire museum is almost a palace of Art, encircling the court are three/four floors showing the artists work and his own collection. There are also many objects and sculptures adorning the grand halls and corridors.

Works included show a good range of his works from his early pieces that refer to cubism (like Figures Lying on the Sand (P. Dalí, Oil on Wood, 1926)) and his paintings in Surrealism (like Soft Self-Portrait with Grilled Bacon (P. Dalí, Oil, 1941)) and his later more geometric and religious efforts (like the complex geometry in The Chair (P. Dalí, Stereoscopic work Left and Right, 1975)). These span many mediums and even exist across ceilings and stairwells. Also referencing works in Theatre and rare films – though it would be better to see some of his films screened.

The works of Dalí show a prolific energy that shows an incredible imagination with a great many works in his oeuvre. The scope of the Dalí Museum makes a great effort to give a thorough impression of the Artist. There are many paintings, photos and objects to please Dalí enthusiasts. However, in the rare works it could be more in depth – it’d be nice to see Destino (d. Dominique Monfery France/USA 2003) or Un Chien Andalou (d. Luis Buñuel, Dalí France 1929)for example. Mostly they just touch upon these aspects of the artists output. For the more casual viewers (and even the enthusiasts) Dalí’s more famous works are not present. This means that the Museum rewards those with a keen interest but may disappoint some people. With what they have they keep the museum majestic, large, colourful and detailed with many of the pieces like the ceiling making the whole trip worthwhile.

Further Reading

Dalí Museum


Dalí Works

Dalí Paintings


Salvador Dalí – Story of Art

Surrealist Manifesto (A. André Breton 1924)

Un Chien Andalou


Salvador Dalí on What’s My Line?

Midnight in Paris – Dalí

Gallery of Selected Works from the Dalí Museum, Figueres Below

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