As magnificent as the current High Museum Salvador Dali exhibition “Dali: The Late Work” is, some admirers have noted the absence of melting clocks.
Dali’s most famous work, “The Persistence of Memory” was painted in 1931 at the height of Dali’s love affair with art critics and so technically speaking, it’s not a “Late Work.”
But beginning November 16, Dali fans will still get to marvel at the 10 inch by 14 inch masterpiece in Atlanta when “Memory” arrives at the High on loan from the Museum of Modern Art in New York.
In a release sent to Intel, exhibition curator Elliott King explains: “‘The Persistence of Memory’ represents Dali in ways few paintings have for other artists. It’s no exaggeration that this ’10 by 14 inches of Dali dynamite’ is the image that made him a celebrity, setting the stage for all the art and antics that followed.”
In the painter’s autobiography, “The Secret Life of Salvador Dali” (available in the High Museum gift shop, along with a Christmas ornament of “Memory,” natch), Dali recalls the painting’s origins.
Dali remembered looking at a landscape he had painted, trying to think of something memorable and fantastic to insert into the landscape. Nearby was a piece of melting Camembert cheese leftover from dinner.
The rest is art history.
“Dali: The Late Work” runs through January 9, 2011.