Philadelphia Museum of Art gets surreal with Dalí

The eyes of the art world are focused on the city of Philadelphia.

From February 16 through May 15, The Philadelphia Museum of Art is proudly hosting what The New York Times is calling “a visual and psychic marathon.” Dalí, the museum’s exhibit showcasing the work of famed surrealist Salvador Dalí, boasts over 200 of his works ranging from paintings to sculptures.

Considered one of the most popular artists of the 20th century, Dalí’s artwork is instantly recognizable due to its flamboyant style and mind-bending images. Greatly influenced by Sigmund Freud, Dalí’s most popular works explore human behavior and life through dreams.

Dalí’s ability to mix dream-like imagery with desolate landscapes gained him instant notability with such paintings as The Weaning of Furniture-Nutrition (1934), in which he portrays a decrepit woman being held up by a crutch.

Dalí’s artistic influence, however, has been overshadowed at times due to his arrogant marketing and overnight success. Dalí’s peers nicknamed him “Ávida Dollars,” due to his apparent “greed for dollars.” In spite of this, art historians and critics have begun to reexamine Dalí’s major impact on modern art in respect of the centenary of his birth (1904).

The museum’s exhibit covers Dali’s career in a variety of fields, spanning from painting to theater design. Many pieces on display are being presented in the United States for the first time ever, such as Imperial Monument to the Child Woman (1934) and The Great Masturbator (1929). Sadly, Dalí’s famous painting The Persistence of Memory (1931), more commonly referred to as the “melting clocks,” will not be on display; New York’s Museum of Modern Art was not willing to donate the piece for the exhibit.

Dalí has broad appeal and is a must-see for the surrealist connoisseur and the artistic amateur alike. Don’t miss the chance to see what The Boston Globe calls “the most comprehensive retrospective [of Dalí’s work] since the artist’s death in 1989.”

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