“Each morning when I awake, I experience again a supreme pleasure—that of being Salvador Dalí.”
He was a force unto himself, an icon of outrageousness, artistic brilliance, eccentricity, and unmistakable style. Salvador Domingo Felipe Jacinto Dalí y Domènech, Marquis of Pubol, was one of the foremost artists of the twentieth century, and in this concise narrative acclaimed art historian Mary Ann Caws provides a sharply written survey of his life and work.
Salvador Dalí examines every twist and turn in Dalí’s long and multifaceted career and the pivotal artistic movements at whose center he stood. From his early life in the Catalan region and his expulsions from the School of Fine Arts in Madrid and other schools to the surrealist movement and his work with Buñuel on the films Un chein andalou and L’Âge d’or, Caws charts Dalí’s influences and creative process. Dalí’s turbulent personal life brought him in contact with a rich assortment of intellectual figures, and Caws considers his relationships with his family; his lovers, including the married Elena Diakonova; and with friends such as poet Federico Garcia Lorca. His writings, drawings, photography, and painted works offer up new clues about the artist under Caws’s incisive eye, as she analyzes his lesser-known writings and creative works, as well as his Surrealist paintings and “hand-painted dream photographs” such as The Persistence of Memory.
A masterfully written biographical study, Salvador Dalí paints an arresting portrait of one of the most elusive artists of our time.