Prints Available from Grafos Verlag
|Both the Löpsinger
and the Fields Catalogues Raisonnés give excellent information on
individual prints. Those published by Grafos Verlag are all reproduced in
them. Here we provide only an overview and a summary, without attempting
to be complete, since it would be beyond the scope of these pages to comment
on each individual graphic work. Over 50 graphic works by Salvador Dalí
were published by Grafos Verlag, under the auspices of Dr. Friedrich Herlt
(and at the beginning of the 60's and 70's, exclusively for the Doctors'
Circle of Collectors, or 'Ärztesammlerkreis'). Some prints are already
missing from our selection, long since sold out.
One of the earliest prints to be published by Grafos Verlag was Dalí's 'Puntaire de Vermeer' (Vermeer's Lace Maker), an homage to Vermeer, printed in 1958. It is an unusual print. Dalí literally played with an experimentally explosive technique, achieving an astonishingly classical effect with explosives. Then come prints from the series 'Five Spanish Portraits' from 1966, including the portraits of 'El Cid', Cervantes and Don Quijote, the knight who, with lance and shield, rides against his own illusions. These are masterpieces of etching in small format, in fine blue, brown and gray tones. Two years later, in 1968, 'Pegasus' is printed, the winged horse of Greek legend, and an etching with the famous 'Soft Clock' of flowing time and then the 'Soft Telephone'. Objects which would normally be stable home accessories begin to melt, and then reality begins to falter. This vision was inspired in completely mundane circumstances during an evening meal, and found its way into many of his works. Some of the prototypes of Dalí's treasure chest are his chest-of-drawer-bodies, his marionette-like supports, grasshoppers, knights and his unmistakable landscapes. The backdrop for the most outlandish imaginings of this day-dreamer is the abrupt coastal landscape of Cadaqués, with the bizarre rock formations of Cap de Creus.
Hommage à la médecine
|In 1973, he creates the fragile figure propped up on crutches, like a butterfly pinned down alive, 'Hommage à la médecine', dedicated to Vesalius, the personal physician of the Spanish king, founder of modern anatomy. Crutches symbolized, for Dalí, as many other things also, resurrection. How did it go in his autobiography, 'The Secret Life of Salvador Dalí', when he recalls his childhood experience with Dullita? 'And then I saw how the rainbow of her laughter had created a bridge across the entire distance of the crutches between us.' Likewise in his work from 1973, 'Gala Assumpta' (The Ascension of Gala), in which he lifts her up into the sky, his beautiful, beloved wife. 'Gala was the angel of stability', he had thus described her.|
Stillness of time, the soft clocks of his 'Time Suite' were done in the mid-70's. These soft-colored lithographs are centerpieces of Dalí's stock of motifs. The clock also becomes a leitmotif in his 'Cycles of Life', to which belong prints such as 'Vesper Bells', a recollection from his childhood in Figueres, 'La Rubia', 'Vigor of Youth' and 'La mano'. The use of clichés and their incorporation into unexpected constellations was part of this Surrealist's creative strategy, and it may recall the work of Breton or Max Ernst.
|For the Dalí
Retrospective of 1978-79, a vivid illustrative selection of watercolor-like
lithographs was produced, including such works as 'Path
of wisdom', with its drawer-head. The drawer, as is known,
had great relevance for Dalí and appeared in his most famous paintings.
'The Flowering of Inspiration' or 'Gala en fleurs' recalls happenings and
arises from the depths of the soul. The print 'The Agony of Love', with
its unicorn, revives myths, life stories and dream worlds. The cycle 'Les
Amoureux' from the same year simply sizzles encounter: the famous lovers
of all times, from 'Adam and Eve' all the way to 'Lancelot and Guinevere',
as well as 'Anthony
and Cleopatra', and even 'Cleopatra's Royal Wedding'. 'I was
also', Dalí wrote, 'as you all know, a king.' The riding couple,
'Woman leading horse'
and 'The Horse-Girl', recalls Spanish festival appearances by the Infanta,
women adorned with garlands and horsemen. These prints give the illusion
The Birth of Venus
A series of individual prints with famous Dalí motifs includes 'The Birth of Venus', 'Celestial Elephant', 'Daphne I' and 'Daphne II' (in whose figure we can also suspect the presence of Gala), as well as 'Cap de Creus'.
Joys of Bacchus
Printemps de Gala
|To this we can add
'Joys of Bacchus',
that 'juicy grape harvest of our passions'; and then the 'Fleurs surréalistes'
(Flowers for Gala), 'Printemps
de Gala', and especially the lithograph of the 'Surreal
Rider, Homage to Velázquez' Rider'. In 1979, he creates an
etching with the same motif, 'Jinete'
(Rider), a vehement, brilliant monochrome drawing. All of these lithographs,
generally after original gouaches, were done on stone. Such is the case
with 'The Doctor'
and 'The Dentist'
(The Fight Against Evil, or The Dentist).
His series on The Professions stems from
the same period (1979). On offer are 'The
Chemist' and 'The
Chef'. The spontaneity of gouache and watercolor is reflected
in these works. Myth and profanity come together, from Greek themes
to the Catalan Sardana dance, Odysseus
returns to all coasts, and Don
Quijote de la Mancha is also free of boundaries, hearts open
to him everywhere. A humorous, burlesque etching series was produced
on the theme of Don Quijote. Grafos Verlag offers the entire series
of 16 prints, as well as the individual prints from this and all the
other series offered here. Dalí illustrates Cervantes' story
vividly. Don Quijote, popular as few other literary characters have
ever been, has become a legend and an image of the soul. Together with
his entirely dissimilar yet loyal companion Sancho Pansa, they make
up the two anti-heroes of Spain. Neither the steed Rosinante nor Lady
Dulcinea de Tobosa can be missing when Don Quijote appears.
Steadfast knight even in defeat, Quijote remains true to his ideals
and hallucinations, idealist, fighter and dreamer.
Und zuguterletzt die Buch-Kassette Dix Recettes d'immortalité. Zehn Rezepte der Unsterblichkeit, der Griff ein silbern-goldener Telephonhörer, verführt zur Frage: ob ein Anruf genügt? Elf Kaltnadelradierungen mit Heliogravuren, zum Teil farbig, 1973 gedruckt. Allein die Bildtitel sind verschroben genug, um zu vexieren. Ein Aphrodisiakum, das mit Vorsicht genossen sein will, und wie es im Kommentar heisst: 'erdacht, gezeichnet und geschrieben von S. Dalí in Port-Lligat, Paris und New-York 1971-1972'. Mensaje de Hispanida ein Reiterrelief in Silber gegossen mit Prägesignatur: Salvador Dalí, 1974, ebenfalls im Angebot des Grafos Verlages, das Objekt wird im Rückblick zur Ehren-Medaille für einen spektakulären grossen Künstler. ek