There are some pieces in our store that really surprise people—like our original Salvador Dali etchings and lithographs. Salvador Dali, best known for The Persistence of Memory, was considered an eccentric but talented artist. His style was influenced by a wide range of artists, including Renaissance artists like Bronzino and Raphael as well as more modern artists like Picasso, whom he admired greatly. Many of his pieces combined techniques of older and more modern styles, and his own style is best known as Surrealism.
He’s known to use recurring symbols like the elephants and eggs and he had a particular fascination with the mathematical composition of rhinoceros horns (he believe it had a ‘divine geometry’). It just so happens we have some of those pieces.
This Space Elephant: from Memories of Surrealism lithograph with Dali’s signature in the lower right was authenticated by renowned Dali authority Bernard Ewell of Art Appraisals, LLC.
Space Elephant is one of twelve multi-media prints consisting of photo- mechanical reproductions of original gouache paintings which included collage and over which original drypoint prints have been printed. The lithographic reproductions were printed at Atelier Jobin in Paris and the metal drypoint plates were prepared and printed on the reproductions at Atelier Rigal, also in Paris.
Salvador Dali created the original gouache/collage paintings and then created the original drypoint image directly in the printing plate to complete the creative process. The entire project was managed and published by Dr. Alex Rosenberg at Transworld Art in New York. The project was completed in 1971 and the total size of the edition was 500 sets of twelve prints each distributed under the title Memories of Surrealism. Half of the edition was accompanied by text in French.
While a large portion of each print in the series consists of a reproduction of an original artwork in a different medium Space Elephant, and each of the other images, is considered the original because of the inclusion of the original drypoint. That component was printed from a zinc or copper plate into which Salvador Dali scratched the design that, in printing, held the ink which was transferred to the paper in the press. After printing at the two workshops, Alex Rosenberg hosted a session in which the artist signed every print.
Aside from Space Elephant, we have the following original Dali pieces (my father was an avid art collector!):
My father loved this quote from Dali: “The fact that I myself, at the moment of painting, do not understand my own pictures, does not mean that these pictures have no meaning; on the contrary, their meaning is so profound, complex, coherent, and involuntary that it escapes the most simple analysis of logical intuition.”
Both of my parents loved his flamboyant personality and his role of mischievous provocateur. They were equally impressed with his undeniable technical virtuosity. They appreciated his fascination for Classical and Renaissance art and the religious symbolism of his later work. Dali’s physical, eccentric and enigmatic character so appealed to my parents that they were compelled to include these Dali’s in their collection.
I hope these amazing pieces of art history will be cherished by another Dali admirer. If you are curious about any of these prints, please feel free to send me a message!