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WEEKEND 101: DALI/DUCHAMP


Dali/Duchamp

1950-134-63 Luna Imaging, Inc. 3542 Hayden Ave. Bldg. One Culver City, CA 90232-2413 (310) 452-8370

1950-134-63 Luna Imaging, Inc. 3542 Hayden Ave. Bldg. One Culver City, CA 90232-2413 (310) 452-8370

Long before Warhol or Hirst – everyday objects were being subverted from their conventional use for the sake of art. Starting with Duchamp and Dali – they took household items and celebrated them, edited them, presented them to the world through the eyes of the artist. An early precursor to the rejection of consumerism – in an age between World Wars where everyday objects were still seen as luxuries, opposed to the 70s/80s mass saturation of commercialism and the birth of Pop Art.

Dali and Duchamp might be known synonymously in the present day, but this is the first time they’ve had an exhibit exploring their relationship – which was much more intrinsically linked than first appears on the surface.

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Salvador Dalí with the collaboration of Edward James Lobster Telephone, 1938 Telephone, steel, plaster, rubber, resin and paper, 18 x 30.5 x 12.5 cm West Dean College, part of Edward James Foundation © Salvador Dalí, Fundació Gala-Salvador Dalí, DACS 2017

The exhibition opens in traditional portraiture-meets-cubism, with letters and photographs exploring the early days of the relationship between the two, sitting alongside familiarly traditional paintings. Moving through the rooms, highlights that are not to be missed include the infamous Dali Lobster Phone & Duchamp’s Urinal & Bicycle Wheel.

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Marcel Duchamp, Bicycle Wheel, 1913, 6th version 1964 Bicycle fork with wheel mounted on painted wooden stool, 126 x 64 x 31.5 cm Photo © Ottawa, National Gallery of Canada / © Succession Marcel Duchamp/ADAGP, Paris and DACS, London 2017

Dali experimented with other forms of art, dabbling in different movements – turning away from the brush to experiment more with film and photography – considering his work to be ‘anti-painting’. This was the catalyst and link between the blossoming relationship between Dali & Duchamp who both rejected the art world norms and pioneered new movements and experimentation with new media.

The exhibition explores pieces they collaborated on – though influences from each other can be seen in their own development as artists. A shared love of perspective and illusion drew them together in the surrealist movement – which still sits as contemporary and revolutionary in today’s diverse art world.

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Salvador Dalí, The First Days of Spring, 1929 Oil and collage (paper, photograph, postcard, linoleum, transfer decal) on wood panel, 50.2 x 65.1 cm Collection of the Dali Museum, St. Petersburg, Florida © Salvador Dali, Fundació Gala-Salvador Dalí, DACS 2017

If you’re a fan of modern art the story of their relationship is well worth taking the trip to see this weekend.

Dali/Duchamp is on at the Royal Academy until January 3rd 2018.

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