Salvador Dali

Born: 1904-1989

Salvador DaliSalvador Dali

Salvador Felipe Jacinto Dali i Domenech was born on 11th May, 1904 in the small town of Figueres in Spain at the foothills of the Pyrenees. As an adult he made his home with his wife Gala in nearby Port Lligat. He died on January 23rd January 1989 in Figueres.

As a student Dali attended the San Fernando Academy of Fine Arts in Madrid. His first one-man show was held in Barcelona in 1925. He became recognised internationally when three of his paintings were shown in the third annual Carnegie International Exhibition in Pittsburg in 1928.

As the leader of the Surrealist movement, his painting, The Persistance of Memory, with soft or melting watches is still one of the best-known surrealist works.

Dali escaped from Europe during World War 11, spending 1940-48 in the United States, which saw his 'classic' period emerging demonstrating a preoccupation with science and religion.

During his artistic career, Dali was a prolific printmaker, using many techniques including drypoint, etching woodcut and lithography. With an output of at least 1700 prints. He is often commended as one of the finest graphic artists of the 20th century.

In exploring the printing medium, Dali often added his own idiosyncratic but innovative and spontaneous graphic experiments. For example, he made tachiste plates - irregular dabs or splotches of colour, by blasting them with explosive charges. On other occasions he attacked the plates with an axe or bombarded them with eggs containing lithographic ink. Some of his drypoints were produced with his 'dessin automatique' an automatic drawing technique where the artist believed his hand movements were controlled by his subconscious mind.

Whatever the technique the final result for his prints was always highly original and often fantastic and colourful.