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"Persistence of Memory" to Join Dalí Exhibition at the High
Salvador Dalí (Spanish, 1904–1989), “The Persistence of Memory,” 1931, oil on canvas, 9½ x 13 inches (24.1 x 33 cm), The Museum of Modern Art, New York. © 2010 Salvador Dalí, Fundació Gala-Salvador Dalí/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

ATLANTA, GA.- On November 16 Salvador Dalí’s iconic Surrealist painting “The Persistence of Memory” from The Museum of Modern Art, New York, will join the highly successful exhibition “Salvador Dalí: The Late Work.” The exhibition brings together many works from Dalí’s later career as well as several works of art not seen in the United States since the 1950s. The exhibition will be on view through January 9, 2010.

“‘The Persistence of Memory’ represents Dalí in ways few paintings have for other artists,” said exhibition curator and Dalí scholar Elliott King. “It’s no exaggeration that this ‘10 x 14 inches of Dalí dynamite’ is the image that made him a celebrity, setting the stage for all the art and antics that followed.”

Painted in 1931, “The Persistence of Memory” is widely recognized as one of Salvador Dalí‘s most famous paintings. According to his autobiography “The Secret Life of Salvador Dalí,” the painting was done one evening after dinner while his wife Gala was out. Dalí was looking at a landscape that he had painted, trying to think of something memorable and fantastic to insert into the landscape. Nearby was a piece of Camembert cheese that had begun to melt. As he looked at the melting cheese, he got the idea to paint a soft clock. When Gala came home Dalí put his hands over her eyes, revealed the painting and asked what she thought. Her response was that once someone had seen it, they would never forget it, hence the title “The Persistence of Memory.”

“Salvador Dalí: The Late Work” is the first exhibition to focus specifically on Dalí's art after 1940. The exhibition features 115 works, including 40 paintings and a related group of drawings, prints and other Dalí ephemera. While Dalí is best known as a leading member of the Surrealist movement of the 1930s, “Salvador Dalí: The Late Work” reassesses his career from 1940 to his death in 1989. Dalí’s late work—which makes up more than half of his total artistic output—drew inspiration simultaneously from the Old Masters and the contemporary world, resulting in works that were markedly out of step with the prevailing styles of their day, but today appear strikingly contemporary. “Salvador Dalí: The Late Work” aims to reevaluate the last half of Dalí’s career, beginning in the late 1930s with the transition from his well-known Surrealist canvases to his self-reinvention as an artist in 1941, when he embraced Catholicism and declared himself a classicist. The exhibition also explores Dalí’s relevance to contemporary art by exploring his enduring fascination with science, optical effects and illusionism, and his surprising connections to artists of the 1960s and 1970s such as Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein and Willem de Kooning.

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