Entertainment » Culture

Dali in Miami: Gaga for Dada

by J.W. Arnold
Sunday Mar 4, 2012

South Florida art lovers will get a rare opportunity to examine the largest exhibition of works by surrealist dada artist Salvador Dali opening March 7 in Miami's Design District.

More than 200 works, assembled from private collections around the world, will be on display at the iconic Moore Building, 4040 NE 2nd Ave., through March 11.

Dali Miami was the brainchild of Michael Rosen, president and CEO of Colored Thumb, a driving force behind many of the area's top art exhibits, including Art Basel, Art Expo and RedDot Fair. For years, he was the publisher and dealer for Miami pop artist Romero Britto.

It took more than six months for Rosen to convince private collectors in London, Spain and New York to lend their works and the show may eventually travel to Los Angeles, New York and Toronto.

The 30,000 sq. ft. space in the Moore Building will house the collection of lithographs, original oils, sculptures and "literally every aspect of Dali," Rosen says.

He points out that the Salvador Dali Museum in St. Petersburg, Fla., owns just two sculptures by the surrealist master, but his exhibit will include more than 65.

"Dali is the father of surrealism," Rosen explains. "When anyone is the first, that is significant. Today, any artist can make a website and get their work out, but you couldn't do that 50 years ago."

Among the rare treasures collected for the show are Dali's seminal bronze, "Venus de Milo with Drawers" (1964), the gouache original "Spring Rain" (1949), the full set of "Dix Recette d'Immoralite" (1973), and his Daum glass masterpiece, "Montre Molle" (1971) depicting the quintessential melting clock.

Reed V. Horth, president and curator of Robin Rile Fine Art, a specialist in Dali's prodigious output, was recruited to curate the collection.

"People love Dali because it's crazy," says Rosen, recounting episodes where the artist would drive his friends around Paris in a Rolls Royce filled with thousands of pounds of cauliflower. "He was nuts."

In addition to the pieces, Rosen has taken his vision for the exhibit one step further with the continuous showing of the 1929 film, Un Chien Andalou, a 17-minute surrealist French film that became a collaboration with friend and director Luis Buñuel. The film explored the destructive elements of the psyche and clearly expresses pure surrealism and its relationship to the unconscious mind, according to Rosen.

For opening night, Rosen also enlisted celebrity chef Adrianne Calvo to recreate recipes inspired by Cali's cookbook, in an effort to immerse guests in a totally surreal experience.

He can't promise this will be the last time such a significant collection of Dali's works will be assembled, but he does say, "Never say never, but for Dali lovers, they're really going to enjoy this experience."

Dali Miami
Wednesday, March 7 - Sunday, March 11
Exhibit hours vary
The Moore Building, 4040 NE 2nd Ave., Miami
Admission $20 at DaliMiami.com or $25 at door
For more information, call 720-771-0600

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