Tag Archives: surrealism

Art News – June 17, 2011

marc-chagall-townhouseThe former home of Marc Chagall is located at 57 East 73rd Street in New York City, NY. Photo: Stribling & Associates Real Estate

A Master’s Suite: For only $1.75 million, you could inhabit the former home of painter Marc Chagall. The artist’s former townhouse in New York City has recently been listed for sale. (Park West Gallery has just a few ideas on how the new owner should redecorate.) {via Curbed}

21st Century Art History: A new survey shows that the majority of doctoral candidates in the art history field are choosing to concentrate their studies on Modern art, mostly from North America and Europe. The College Art Association says that last year’s most-studied area for potential Ph.D.’s in the U.S. and Canada was art created during the last 100 years. {via LA Times}

 Surrealist Masterpiece: Prior to collaborating with Walt Disney on the animated film Destino, artist Salvador Dali worked with Spanish director Luis Buñuel on the surreal short film Un Chien Andalou (An Andalusian Dog). This week’s New York Times Critics’ Pick reviews the 1928 film, stating that even now, 80 years later, the movie “still seethes with creative, revolting imagery.” {via New York Times}

Everyone’s a Critic: A study of 9-month-olds found that babies prefer the brighter paintings of Pablo Picasso with their “sharp and accentuated contrasts in luminance” to the more subtle “blurry, shimmery effects” of Claude Monet works. Which do you like better? {via Miller-McCune}

Can You Draw the Internet?: This creative bunch of folks believes they did. These Park West Gallery bloggers wouldn’t even know where to begin. {via TechCrunch}

***Have an interesting art news story or upcoming arts event to share with our Park West Gallery Blog readers? Submit your art-related news links via email to marketing@parkwestgallery.com.

Happy 118th Birthday Joan Miro [Video]

“You can look at a painting for a whole week and then never think about it again. You can also look at a painting for a second and think about it for the rest of your life.” —JOAN MIRO (April 20, 1893 – December 25, 1983)

Today marks the 118th birthday of Catalan artist Joan Miro, a man viewed by the art world and collectors as one of the most important artists of the 20th century, and the precursor for much of modern art.

(For an interactive timeline of the artist’s life and work, visit the Park West Gallery Joan Miro website »)

Joan Miro, Park West Gallery Collection

Now on view through September 11, Miro at Tate Modern is London’s first major retrospective of the artist’s works in nearly 50 years. Renowned as one of the greatest Surrealist painters, filling his paintings with luxuriant colour, Miró worked in a rich variety of styles. This is a rare opportunity to enjoy more than 150 paintings, drawings, sculptures and prints from moments across the six decades of his extraordinary career.

In the following video clip from Tate Modern, you’ll see vintage footage of Miro at work, go behind the scenes at his home and studio, and hear what scholars have to say about one of history’s greatest artists.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

For exhibit info, please visit www.tate.org.uk/modern/exhibitions/joanmiro
The Joan Miro fine art collection is available at Park West Gallery cruise art auctions and through our gallery in Southfield, Michigan. Learn more about the artist and see examples of his work at www.parkwest-miro.com

Picasso and the Avant-Garde in Paris

Pablo Picasso, Park West Gallery fine art“Three Musicians” (1921) by Pablo Picasso, Philadelphia Museum of Art.
©2010 Estate of Pablo Picasso/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

PHILADELPHIA — A new exhibit at the Philadelphia Museum of Art focuses on Modern Masters including Picasso, Braque and Chagall–commonly known as the School of Paris. Through April 25, Picasso and the Avant-Garde in Paris will feature 214 paintings, sculptures, and works on paper.  

From the museum website:

“The exhibition follows the trajectory of Picasso’s career from his early experiments with abstraction to his pioneering role in the development of Cubism, as well as his dialogue with Surrealism and other important art movements in the ensuing decades. The exhibition will also explore the important role that the city of Paris played in the history of modern art during the first half of the twentieth century, when artists from around the world followed Picasso’s example and moved to the French capital. It will include works by expatriate artists like Marc Chagall, Jacques Lipchitz, Patrick Henry Bruce, and Man Ray, who collectively formed a vibrant, international avant-garde group known, for posterity, as the School of Paris.”

For more information on this exhibit, please visit www.philamuseum.org
Park West Gallery has become one of the longest running and largest dealers of Pablo Picasso graphic works internationally. Our current collection, both archived and actively offered, includes over one thousand five hundred works, including drawings and mixed media unique works, etchings, aquatints, linoleum cuts, lithographs, and ceramics, all rigorously authenticated, guaranteed and selected based on the highest quality and value.

Please visit picasso.parkwestgallery.com to learn more


In a Studio like a Garden, Art Grows like Flora and Miro is the Gardener

“I think of my studio as a vegetable garden. Here, there are artichokes. Over there, potatoes. The leaves have to be cut so the vegetables can grow. At a certain moment, you must prune. I work like a gardener or a wine grower.” Joan Miró, 1959

Joan Miro, Park West GalleryLeft to Right: Joan Miró’s “Personage” (1967) and “The Caress of a Bird” (1967). [Credit: Fondation Marguerite et Aimé Maeght, Saint-Paul.]

COPENHAGEN — It has been said that artist Joan Miró (1893-1983) regarded everything in the universe as alive and as part of a great interconnected totality. An innovative master of surrealism, Miró also saw himself as a gardener, his studio as a kitchen garden and his artworks as plants that he cultivated to grow under his expert care.

When in 1956 he got the large studio space he had always dreamed of, Miró was finally free to express himself as he wished. The artist gathered gardening and natural materials like worn-out tools, branches and stones. He would cast in bronze or paint in bright primary colors the found objects, and later incorporate them into his abstract sculptures.

Through May 30, the ARKEN Museum of Modern Art is celebrating the artist’s connection to nature with a new exhibit, Miró – I Work Like a Gardener. The exhibit features 111 sculptures, paintings and works on paper as well as works in textile and ceramics created by the world-famous artist in his studio on Majorca

According to the museum website:

Miró transformed the objects and their meaning. The straw hat of a donkey becomes the face of a sculpture. An old butcher’s block forms the legs of a curious character. An ironing-board or a toilet seat is viewed as the belly of a strange creature. When we look at the sculpture we can break it down into individual components or see it as a whole, as a creature of the imagination. Like Miró we can both see the thing’s original function and open our minds to other meanings and possibilities.

The sculptures underscore Miró’s fundamental belief in a living, dynamic world full of possibilities. The late sculptures contribute to a new understanding of Miró’s painting, which is also dynamic and eternally mutable. A dot in a painting by Miró can be understood in turn as an abstract dot, as a remote planet or as the eye of a possible creature looking back at you. Everything comes alive in Miró’s universe.

For more information on this exhibit, please visit www.arken.dk/content/us or visit sales.parkwestgallery.com/results/All/Joan-Miro to view selections from the Park West Gallery Miró Collection


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Freud’s Influence on Dali’s Surreal “Dream” Painting

Salvador Dali, Park West Gallery“Dream Caused by the Flight of a Bee around a Pomegranate a Second Before Awakening” (1944), Salvador Dali. Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum, Madrid. ©Salvador Dalí, Gala-Salvador Dalí Foundation/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

In 1962, surrealist master Salvador Dalí gave the following explanation of his oil painting entitled, Dream Caused by the Flight of a Bee Around a Pomegranate One Minute Before Awakening (1944):

“[It was intended] to express for the first time in images Freud’s discovery of the typical dream with a lengthy narrative, the consequence of the instantaneousness of a chance event which causes the sleeper to wake up. Thus, as a bar might fall on the neck of a sleeping person, causing them to wake up and for a long dream to end with the guillotine blade falling on them, the noise of the bee here provokes the sensation of the sting which will awaken Gala.”

The universe of Dalinian imagery, whether religious, mythological or in this case, Freudian, is repeated in many of the artist’s illustrations, including those for the Biblia Sacra and Divine Comedy (see examples at the Park West Gallery Salvador Dali Collection website). In Provenance is Everything, Bernard Ewell, considered the foremost authority on the art of Salvador Dali, discusses the artist’s connection with Freud:

“A well-read student of Sigmund Freud, Salvador Dali – who never used drugs and only drank alcohol (especially champagne) in moderation – turned to a most unusual way to access his subconscious. He knew that the hypnologic state between wakefulness and sleep was possibly the most creative for a brain.

Like Freud and his fellow surrealists, he considered dreams and imagination as central rather than marginal to human thought. Dali searched for a way to stay in that creative state as long as possible just as any one of us on a lazy Saturday morning might enjoy staying in bed in a semi-awake state while we use our imagination to its fullest. He devised a most interesting technique.

Sitting in the warm sun after a full lunch and feeling somewhat somnolent, Dali would place a metal mixing bowl in his lap and hold a large spoon loosely in his hands which he folded over his chest. As he fell asleep and relaxed, the spoon would fall from his grasp into the bowl and wake him up. He would reset the arrangement continuously and thus float along-not quite asleep and not quite awake-while his imagination would churn out the images that we find so fascinating, evocative, and inexplicable when they appear in his work…”

(Park West Gallery has Ewell’s full essay posted here)

Dream Caused by the Flight of a Bee was painted while Dalí and his wife Gala were living in America. Even upon a cursory view, it is clear that Dali has incorporated distinct symbolism – the tigers, pomegranates, an elephant, a rifle – into the work. Following is an interesting analysis of the imagery, courtesy of ArtDaily:

The painting depicts a woman (Dalí’s wife, Gala) sleeping while sunbathing naked during a calm day on rocks floating over the sea, possibly at Port Lligat. An elephant with incredibly long, extremely thin legs walks across the sea’s horizon while carrying an obelisk. Near the woman float two drops of water and a small pomegranate. From a larger pomegranate comes a fish that spews a tiger from which comes another tiger, while in front of that second tiger a rifle’s bayonet touches (or nearly touches) the woman’s right arm.

The bayonet, as a symbol of the stinging bee, may thus represent the woman’s abrupt awakening from her otherwise peaceful dream. The bee around the smaller pomegranate is repeated symbolically. The two tigers represent the body of the bee (yellow with black stripes) and the bayonet its stinger. The fish may represent the bee’s eyes, because of similarity of the fish’s scaly skin with the scaly complex eyes of bees.

The elephant is a distorted version of a well-known sculpture by Bernini that is located in Rome. The smaller pomegranate floating between two droplets of water may symbolize Venus, especially because of the heart-shaped shadow it casts. It may also be used as a Christian symbol of fertility and resurrection. This female symbolism may contrast with the phallic symbolism of the threatening creatures.

Dream Caused by the Flight of a Bee is currently on loan to the Fundació Gala-Salvador Dalí from Madrid’s Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum and can be viewed by the public in the Drawings Room (number 6) of the Dalí Theatre-Museum in Figueres, February 9 – May 2, 2010.


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Mexico Gets Surreal – Dali in Merida: Views of a Dream

Park West Gallery, Salvador Dali at Merida Olimpo Cultural Center

MEXICO — A selection of images from one of Park West Gallery’s most treasured print collections, Salvador Dali’s Divine Comedy, is starring in a new exhibit opening in Mexico’s southeastern city of Merida.

The show, entitled Dali en Merida. Las miradas del sueño (“Dali in Merida: Views of a Dream”), will be on view at Merida’s Olimpo Cultural Center. The exhibit will honor the life and work of Salvador Dali by displaying 93 engravings created by the artist to illustrate the literary works – The Divine ComedyFables of La Fontaine and The Capricious Dreams of Pantagruel de Rabelais.

The works of art are on loan from the collection of the La Coruña art museum’s foundation, a co-sponsor of the exhibition along with the city of Merida (which reportedly spent $96,000 to organize the show).

Courses on engraving, lectures, guided tours and the Buñuel y Dali film series will also be offered to the public as part of the celebration. Admission is free until March 23.

For more information, please visit www.merida.gob.mx/planetario


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Artist Birthdays January 5 – YVES TANGUY

YVES TANGUY (January 5, 1900 – January 15, 1955)

  • Nationality: French-born/American
  • Field: Painting
  • Art Movement: Surrealism
  • ARTiFact: Although he had no formal artistic training, in 1923 he became greatly impressed by a Giorgio de Chirico painting and made the decision to pursue a serious art career.
  • Artist Quote: “The painting develops before my eyes, unfolding its surprises as it progresses. It is this which gives me the sense of complete liberty, and for this reason I am incapable of forming a plan or making a sketch beforehand.”
  • Notable Artwork (shown below): Reply to Red, 1943.


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Art Museum Unfurls an Enormous Salvador Dali Masterpiece After 33 Years

An art museum in Pittsburgh has uncovered from its archives a unique Salvador Dali masterpiece that hasn’t seen the light of day in 33 years. Fans of the Surrealist artist, including many of us Dali-enthusiasts at Park West Gallery, are eagerly waiting to see how and when the giant work of art will be displayed…

Carnegie Officials are Bullish to Display Huge Dali Work
By SALLY KALSON • Pittsburgh Post-Gazette | December 29, 2009

Staff at the Carnegie Museum of Art roll up Dali’s 1942 curtain “Theseus Minotaur” after inspecting it yesterday. [Credit: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.]

An enormous stage curtain created by Salvador Dali for the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo was unfurled yesterday at the Carnegie Museum of Art for the first time since the museum acquired it 33 years ago. The purpose: to evaluate its condition, photograph it for the museum’s internal use and figure out how to display it. The work is so huge it had to be laid flat on the marble floor of the Hall of Sculpture. Measuring 26 1/2 feet high by 49 1/2 feet wide, it is almost 10 feet higher than the museum’s tallest gallery ceiling.

“It’s spectacular,” said Louise Lippincott, the Carnegie’s chief curator. “It’s in amazing condition for something that’s been rolled up in a dark closet since 1976.”

The curtain was a gift from Leon Falk Jr. It is from the 1942 Ballet Russe production of Labyrinth, based on the Greek myth of Theseus, who killed the evil Minotaur and escaped from the monster’s lair by following yarn woven by the beautiful Ariadne.

Painted in black oil on beige canvas, it depicts a struggle between the Minotaur and Theseus, who has a knife in his hand. “It looks like a really large drawing in pen and ink, with some light-colored highlights and one strip of an intense light blue to represent water,” said Dr. Lippincott. “It’s a very classic Dali with the imagery and brush strokes.”

The work is signed by the artist’s wife, Gala Salvador Dali, and dated 1942. Dr. Lippincott said that was typical for the couple because she did a lot of the production and design. Salvador Dali, she noted, did paintings for nine ballets.

Labyrinth was choreographed by Leonide Massine to the music of Franz Shubert. It toured the country under impresario Sol Hurok, and appeared in Pittsburgh in 1942, although Dr. Lippincott was still checking on the exact location. Massine gave the curtain to Mr. Falk. It first went to the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, then to the Carnegie in October 1976 with the understanding that the ballet could use it should the need arise. “I don’t think that would be a good idea,” said Dr. Lippincott. “It would probably shred.”

The next step is figuring out how and where to display it. It could be left on the floor of the Sculpture Hall and roped off so that people could look down on it from the balcony. Or it could be hung in that room, which is two stories high. “You have to be able to stand back from it,” Dr. Lippincott said.

A detail from Dali’s “Theseus Minotaur.”  [Credit: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.]

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