Today, May 11, marks the anniversary of the birth of Salvador Dali.
Salvador Felipe Jacinto Dali I Domenech was born May 11, 1904, in Figueres, Spain. His first one-man show was in Barcelona in 1925. He became internationally known when three of his paintings were shown in the 3rd annual Carnegie International Exhibition in Pittsburgh in 1928. One of these was The Basket of Bread, shown below.
In 1929, he held a one-man show in Paris and joined the surrealists, led by former Dadaist Andre Breton. He also met Gala Eluard and her husband. She became his lover, muse, chief inspiration, and future wife. Dali soon became a leader in the Surrealist Movement, with the Persistence of Memory being one of the most recognized works of the movement.
As World War II approached, Dali had a falling out with the other Surrealists and was expelled from their group in 1934. He continued exhibiting works in international exhibitions until 1940, but by then he was moving into a new type of painting with science and religion preoccupation.
From 1940-1948, Salvador and his wife, Gala, escaped to the United States. The Museum of Modern Art in New York gave him his first major retrospective exhibit in 1941, and in 1942, The Secret Life of Salvador Dali, his autobiography, was published.
Moving into his classic period, he began a series of 19 large paintings, many with scientific, historical, or religious themes. Among the best known of these is The Hallucinogenic Toreador, The Discovery of America by Christopher Columbus, and The Sacrament of the Last Supper.
In 1974, Dali opened the Teatro Museo in Figueres, Spain, followed by retrospectives in Paris and London later in the 70s. His wife, Gala, died in 1982, and his health began to fail. He was burned in a fire in 1984, received a pacemaker in 1986, and finally passed away January 23, 1989 in Figueres from heart failure with respiratory complications.
He is remembered as an artist who was constantly growing and evolving, working in all media types, and as the artist who set the standard for art of the 20th century.
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