The Salvador Dalí exhibition, ‘Liquid Desire’, is in its final weeks at the National Gallery of Victoria.
The retrospective, which includes some of Dalí’s earliest work (completed at the age of fifteen), cleverly shows the evolution of the artist’s distinctive style. Texts accompanying the artworks provide the visitor, and the budding artist, with insight into Dalí’s life story, and the twinning of biographical events with his paintings and drawings.
‘Liquid Desire’ is an appropriate title for the exhibition – almost all of the pieces have a fluid quality. I found two pieces particularly outstanding. Three Young Surrealist Women Holding In Their Arms The Skins Of An Orchestra (1936) has an endless landscape that is powerful to behold. The women in the picture are evocatively sensual; their heads represented by bouquets of flowers, their arms holding what appears to be melted musical instruments.
Archaeological Reminiscence of Millets Angelus (1935) resembles two people carved from stone, now crumbling. I found the image of their hanging heads moving: they seemed so full of regret.
Several hours are needed to properly absorb this collection. Apart from the main exhibit, there is also a room of jewellery, photographs from the film sets Dalí designed during his time in Hollywood, and a viewing room screening his first film, Un Chien Andalou (1929), made with Luis Buñuel. These are great additions.
The Salvador Dalí exhibition is at The NGV in Melbourne until October 4.
Already seen ‘Liquid Desire’? What did you think?