- art - contemporary art - exhibitions - museums - Painting - Paris
Dali, 'agent provocateur' of modern art
Sean Rose tells us about the highly successful Salvador Dali retrospective currently on show at the Pompidou Centre in Paris.
The previous retrospective of Salvador Dalí in France was staged over 30 years ago; there hadn’t been a major exhibition since. Why? Because this self-proclaimed “divine” artist was an agent provocateur and was considered a black sheep by the self-righteous intelligentsia: a dandy, a jester, a showman. He has often been taxed with epithets such as megalomaniac and commercial, and even supported Spanish dictator Franco.
Was Dalí all these things he was accused of? Most probably. In his memoir "The Secret Life of Salvador Dalí" (Gallimard, 1942) he said, “At the age of six I wanted to be a cook, at seven I wanted to be Napoleon. And my ambition has been growing steadily ever since".
This retrospective is beautifully edited, with an exhibition trail that is both fluid and didactic. Smaller pictures and objects are not shown in dark rooms as is often the case, but laid out in accessible cabinets right in the middle of the exhibition space.
DALÍ. Pompidou Centre
Until March 25th