Salvador Dalí. The Christ of St. John of the Cross. 1951. Oil on canvas. 205 x 116 cm.
The first exhibition viewed was Dali: The Late Work.
Meet the man whose art—and personality—were larger than life. Dalí: The Late Work brings together a stunning collection of more than 40 paintings, plus film, sculptures and photographs—many never before seen in public. The exhibition considers for the first time the diverse body of work that Dalí created in the last forty years of his career. Reinventing himself during the 1940s, Dalí used his art to visually explore science, psychology, and religion—as he often said, painting the subject matter of his time.
There were numerous paintings I enjoyed viewing. Of course, Persistence of Memory, but that is a painting I have seen many times at MOMA. I was pleased to see the High Museum of Art was able to borrow it for this exhibition. Many of the paintings were not viewed in a public exhibition since the 1950's. I particularly enjoyed viewing the painting, The Christ of St. John of the Cross. I never realized that Dali experienced a re-conversion and his explicit interest in Catholic mysticism which inspired many of his paintings during that period of his life. I liked seeing that he had an interest in portraiture and his respect and interest in reviving it as a subject within Modern Art.
I also did not realize his disdain for Abstract Expressionism and Minimalism and specifically his disdain for Piet Mondrian. There was a strange film viewed and his diatribe regarding this disdain referring to 'painting in cynicism', an an abstract painting for the Guggenheim. Not specifically referenced, but I felt he was making a pun in his video on John Cage.
It seemed though as he grew older, aged and time moved on, his disdain lessened through looking at some of his later works where he employed some collage and abstract composition in his work. These later explorations though I do not think characterize his work classically as his early masterpieces.