Salvador Dali

ART LESSON 14: The aim of the lesson is to teach you to view the world from quite an unusual perspective.

Study the following texts and be prepared to answer any question on the content.
1. a)Dealing with the fantastic, Surrealist painting may take a number of distinct forms, each of which, however, is recognisable through the irrational approach and the construction of unreal, unworldly, mysterious figures, either painted extremely meticulously, or constructed in near abstract shapes.
  Watches draped over withered tree stumps, animated but dismembered figures, dream evocations, unreasonable and often erotic associations of objects in irrational scale, near abstract symbols of sexual reference – these are elements in the form of art that is known as surrealism. For the majority of people such material is not proper to art, but it is the nature of surrealism to introduce different subjects and some measure of its success that it has managed to achieve its acceptance. Part of the reason for this no doubt lies in the fascination that human nature seems to have for the turned-over stone, the weird, the half-realised, the dangerous, the unexpected and feared. It is attracted, even mesmerised, in a mood of cautious revulsion – and convention suggests it should not be interested and discourages acknowledgement of the desire.

b) The still life and figure drawing occupy an important place in Dali’s work. But the crucible in which he transforms being and things, thus creating the most astonishing oneiric fresco of the contemporary epoch, is the landscape, the landscape of Cadaqués. It has always exercised a tremendous influence over painters and writers. The secret emotional power of this particular place lies in its own geological structure. The town rises from the bottom of an enclosed bay, surrounded by terraced hills where grapes and olives used to be cultivated. Turned towards the east, the site is like a true natural amphitheatre...