December 3, 2012

Salvador Dali exhibit opens at the Centre Georges Pompidou

One of Paris' most anticipated exhibitions of the season has arrived! The biggest retrospective Salvador Dali exhibition in over 30 years is now open at the Georges Pompidou Centre (metro Rambuteau) - and it's every minute worth the 90 minute queue. Open now until March 25th, 2013, the exhibition showcases a collection of over 200 familiar and unfamiliar paintings, sketches, objects, installations and films produced between 1920-1980 by the Spanish born Surrealist, Salvador Dali (1904-1989).
The exhibition is the largest showcase of his work since the last retrospective at the Pompidou in 1979 (the most visited exhibition in the museum’s history to date).
Laid out in chronological-thematic sections, the visitor enters through a large white oval where an image of Dali in the fetal position inside an egg is projected onto the wall (1941 photo taken by Philippe Halsman).
 Other installations include a reconstruction of “Mae West's Face Which May be Used as an Apartment” with it's iconic lip shaped sofa, which are also present inside the exhibitions' small theater where a series of Dali's films are shown on rotation, including Un Chien Andalou (1929).
The exhibition charts Dali's artistic process beginning with some of his earliest self-portraits in his hometown of Figueres, to surrealism and the development of his paranoiac-critical method. The assortment of Dali fan favorites including “The Persistence of Memory” (1931), “The Great Masturbator” (1929) and “The Metamorphosis of Narcissus” (1937 ) along with a number of mass media recognizable objects such as his famed “Lobster Telephone” (1936) fill the walls of the exhibition, providing for a truly incredible retrospective.

Having little familiarity with how grand the scope of his work is, the exhibition (in true retrospective character) devotes much space to Dali's themes and connections to politics and the media of his age. Often critiqued for his political views and communist associations, the exhibition showcases some his political fascinations including those paintings such as “Six apparitions of Lenin on a Piano” (1931) and “The Enigma of Hitler” (1939). Nearing the end of the exhibition, advertisements he starred in are played (which he received wide criticism and disapproval from his artistic community) including his 1968 appearance in a Lanvin Chocolate commercial.
Whether or not you are familiar with the works of Dali or the Surrealist style, I full heartedly recommend a visit to the Pompidou to check out this blockbuster of an exhibition- there is something for everyone to enjoy!
The exhibition is open every day from 11:00- 21:00 at the Georges Pompidou Centre except on Tuesdays. Exceptionally for the Dali exhibition, it will be open at night until 23h Fridays and Saturdays (last entry at 22h).
Metro Rambuteau (Line 11)
Regular Entry € 13
Reduced Entry € 10

Post and Photos by Ellie Somers