Exhibition: Dalí in the Empordà. A view by Empordà photographers
, 8 July 2004
“The universal can only be attained through the ultra-local”: this phrase that Salvador Dalí applied to a number of Empordà citizens, such as Fages de Climent and Antoni Pitxot, could also be extrapolated to cover the eight Empordà photographers behind the pictures making up this exhibition. Salvador Dalí was one of the most heavily photographed artists of the twentieth century. His attitude when facing the camera was usually that of Dalí the actor, the Dalí that was always fashioning or seeking show opportunities. Yet the pictures in the exhibition Dalí in the Empordà. A view by Empordà photographers show a radically different Dalí Dalí at his most natural, most essential. This selection comprises 75 newly-made prints of photographs taken between 1950 and 1980 by photographers from the Empordà who were contemporaries of the artist: Melitó Casals, Joan Moncanut, Adelí Torner, Francesc Simon, Esteve Ayats and Robin Townsend, as well as some by amateur photographers such as Enrique Sabater and Joan Vehí. They captured unusual pictures of the painter, shots they had grabbed of Dalí in Cadaqués or Figueres, far from the merchandising’ paraphernalia that usually surrounded the artist.
The exhibition Dalí in the Empordà. A view by Empordà photographers, was organised by the association Amics dels Museus Dalí and ”la Caixa” Foundation in conjunction with the Town Council of Altea, and its curators were Rosa Maria Maurell, coordinator of the Dalí Studies Centre of the Gala-Salvador Dalí Foundation, and the art historian Inés Padrosa. It can be seen from the 9th to the 30th of July 2004 in the Palau Altea. Centre d’Arts d’Altea (in the old quarter of Altea, on Carrer Alcoi, s/n).
The photographs making up the exhibition Dalí in the Empordà. A view by Empordà photographers reveal the least known side of Dalí, the side farthest removed from the stereotyped public image that he himself cultivated for the media and for popular consumption. Dalí gave free rein in his home to Meli, Moncanut, Ayats, Sabater, Simon, Torner, Townsend and Vehí, all of whom were interested in capturing his everyday home life. The close relations between the artist and the photographers are evident in the freedom he granted them, and his bonds with his native Empordà are also clearly in evidence in every photograph in this selection.
The exhibition is divided into five theme-based areas, ranging from the end of the 1950s down to the start of the 1980s.
Dalí espontani (The Spontaneous Dalí’) is the area that opens the exhibition. The painter can be seen at various times in his everyday life playing the street piano, or eating sea urchins with the fishermen in Port Lligat.
In the second area, Dalí en el procés de creació (Dalí creating’), we are given glimpses the painter’s intense hours of work in his studio in Port Lligat, and we can see for ourselves how his work evolved through his highly worked preparatory studies before the definitive oil painting was produced.
The third area, Dalí al Teatre-Museu (Dalí in the Theatre-Museum’) shows the various stages in the creation of the great surrealist object that is the museum: the painter sitting in its main room in work clothes contemplating the ceiling which he was to paint. This room is now known as the Palau del Vent (Wind Palace) and forms a marvellous compendium of his iconography.
Dalí amb personatges, (Dalí with celebrities’) is the title of the fourth area, which shows the web of relations that Dalí was to weave throughout his life. The painter became acquainted with prominent international figures such as King Umberto of Savoy, and was also in contact with other national and local figures such as the Spanish royal family, Severo Ochoa, Josep Tarradellas, Josep Pla, Fages de Climent and Antoni Pitxot.
The last area, Dalí, performances, shows three series featuring some of the painter’s performances in Port Lligat for an advertisement, and in the Club Mediterranée in Cadaqués.
The association Amics dels Museus Dalí took part in the events scheduled to mark the Salvador Dalí’s centenary through organising this exhibition, which was first presented in the Dalí Museum in Figueres in January 2004, and which was later on view in Barcelona’s Palau Robert.
Dalí in the Empordà. A view by Empordà photographers
9 to 30 July 2004
Inauguration: Thursday, 8 July at 8:30 p.m.
Palau Altea. Centre d’Arts d’Altea
Carrer Alcoi, s/n (old quarter)
Monday to Saturday, from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. and from 4:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Closed on Sundays and public holidays.