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Dali in Studio

Salvador Dali

The Argillet Collection


Salvador Dali (1904-1989): Spanish painter, sculptor, graphic artist, and designer.  After passing through phases of Cubism, Futurism and Meta-physical painting, he joined the Surrealists in 1929 and his talent for self-publicity rapidly made him the most famous representative of the movement.  Throughout his life he cultivated eccentricity and exhibitionism (one of his most famous acts was appearing in a diving suit at the opening of the London Surrealist exhibition in 1936), claiming that was the source of of his creative energy. He took over the Surrealist theory of automatism but transformed it into a positive method he named 'critical paranoia.'  

According to this theory one should cultivate genuine delusion as in clinical paranoia while remaining residually aware at the back of one's mind that the control of the reason and will has been deliberately suspended.  He claimed that this method should be used not only in artistic and poetical creation but also in the affairs of daily life.  His paintings employed a meticulous academic technique that was contradicted by the unreal 'dream' space he depicted and by the strangely hallucinatory characters of his imagery.  He described his pictures as 'hand-painted dream photographs' and had certain favorite and recurring images, such as the human figure with half-open drawers protruding from it, burning giraffes, and watches bent and flowing as if made from melting wax (The Persistence of Memory, MoMa, New York; 1931).

He is undoubtedly one of the most famous and influential artists of the 20th Century.  There are museums devoted to Dali's work in Figures, his home town in Spain, and in St. Petersburg in Florida. 

Pierre Argillet was an avid collector of works by Futurists, Dadaists and Surrealists, and very on, met the major artists of the 20th Century.  The Pierre Argillet Collection demonstrates high standards of quality, and the impassioned  collaboration between an artist and his publisher.  This ensemble of works has appeared in some of the best known museums in the world.  Among them Musee Boijmans, Rotterdam; Musee Pushkin, Moscow; Reynolds-Morse Foundation, St. Petersburg, FL; Kunsthaus, Zurich and Staatsgalerie, Stuttgart; Isetan Museum of Art in Tokyo; Daimarus Art Museum, Osaka; Hiroshima Prefectural Museum of Art, Japan; and Modern Art Museum, Ceret, France. 

These pieces come directly from Jean Christophe Argillet, Pierre and Genevieve Argillet's son.  Currently, Jean Christophe Argillet is a dealer of pre-Columbian works in Paris France.   In addition to these pieces, Acquisitions of Fine Art holds two key books that outline Jean Christophe Argillet's lifetime experiences with Salvador Dali, alongside his parent's personal and professional collaboration over the years. 

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