Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Dali and Titian at the High

My daughter and I went to the High Museum of Art in Atlanta to see the Salvador Dali exhibit and the two Titians that are visiting the US. The Titians, two massive paintings, were incredible, but what I expected. It was still great to see them, though.

What was not expected was what I learned at the Dali exhibit. Dali is one of those artists that captures the attention of the young. I had known about him since I was little, but as I learned more about art history, he didn't stand out. He was an accomplished Surrealist, but nothing more. I expected to see some of his work, get to understand where he was coming from a little bit better, but that was all.

I was surprised to find that many of the conflicts I think about in my every day life are the same as the conflicts addressed by Dali in his works. I'm not going to get into the personal stuff, but suffice it to say that one of my big private questions about life, the universe, and everything was also a big issue for Dali.

I loved seeing his personality. He couldn't stand Mondrian. One paper shows a chart he made rating famous artists on things such as draftsmanship, creativity, color, originality, etc. - about 10 or so attributes. Vermeer got all or mostly all 10s in each category. Other famous artists scored similarly high. Except Mondrian. He had a row of zeros, with the last number, a 3, erased and a '1' penciled in. He further mocks Mondrian for an entire video short.

One of the things I enjoyed seeing was how much Dali was influenced by scientific discoveries. He was interested in and kept up with what was happening in science, and incorporated it into his work.

If you get a chance to see either of these exhibits, either at the High, or (the Titians) elsewhere in the US, I would highly recommend going.

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