DALI Author:Introduction by J. G. Ballard Salvador Dali, the most outstanding personality in the history of surrealist painting, was born in Figueras, Spain, in 1904. His precocious brilliance revealed itself while he was an art student, and his powerful and extravagant imagination soon established him as one of the most original of the surrealist painters. For almost half a century D... more »ali has dominated surrealism, as a result in part of his highly developed talents for self-advertisement. Few great artists of the 20th century have so exposed themselves to the glare of publicity, yet the real meaning and aims of Dali's art remain concealed and misunderstood. To many people he is a master of the lurid and bizarre, while to others the photographic realism of his exquisitely finished style gives his paintings the disturbing conviction of a waking nightmare.
Much of Dali's work lies in that uneasy realm beyond both seriousness and humor. Above all, he is a man of his own age, responding to its deepest preoccupations - such as the horror-technologies of World War II, Hiroshima and the H-Bomb, or the recent revival of religious mysticism - with the most appropriate techniques, whether Freudian psychoanalysis, or the iconographies of nuclear physics and Christian symbolism. The reproductions in this book cover the entire range of Dali's paintings, and reveal the power and originality of this master of modern art.