ABOUT SALVADOR DALI (1904-1989)
Born in Figueres, Catalonia, Dali attended the San Fernando Academy of Fine Arts in Madrid. He was drawn simultaneously to Academicism, Impressionism, Futurism and Cubism and after reading Sigmund Freud, his passions turned to dreams and the unconscious.
Between 1926 and 1928, Dali frequently visited Paris where he met numerous influential artists such as Pablo Picasso and Rene Magritte, the latter having introduced him to Surrealism. During this time, he also met Gala Eluard, who became his lifetime companion and muse.
By 1929, he began formulating the “paranoiac-critical method” which would provide the founda- tions for most of his paintings. This was a mental exercise which Dali used it to create a reality from his dreams and subconscious thoughts. His extreme statements on political matters, in par- ticular his fascination with Hitler, struck a false note in the context of the Surrealist ethic and ulti- mately his relations with the rest of the group became increasingly strained after 1934.
After a stay in the United States from 1940 to 1948, where his influence was felt in fashion, advertising and ballet sets, he went back to Spain. Preoccupied with science and religion, Dali moved into a new type of painting and returned to the baroque traditions and landscapes of his youth.
Throughout the 1950’s and 1960’s, Dali moved away from Surrealism and entered his classic period. In 1972, he went on to open the Teatro-Museo in Figueres which houses the broadest range of his works. After the death of his wife in 1982, his health deteriorated dramatically and he never recovered, dying in his hometown in 1989.
ABOUT PIERRE ARGILLET (1910–2001)
Pierre Argillet was an avid collector of Futurist, Dadaist and Surrealist works and had, from very early on, met the major artists of the 20th century. He counted Marcel Duchamp and Jean Arp among his acquaintances, but it was with Salvador Dali that a long and fruitful collaboration developed. Together as artist and publisher, Dali and Argillet produced nearly 200 etchings over a period that stretched 30 years. In 1974, they parted company, as Argillet did not want to go along with Dali’s desire to make photo-based lithographs. For Argillet, only traditional copper etchings were acceptable. They remained friends until Dali’s death in 1989.