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Dali Universe (London)

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4 Reviews

PERMANENT EXHIBITION dedicated to SALVADOR DALI. County Hall, South Bank (b/w Westminster Bridge and Jubilee Gardens - Waterloo tube). Open daily 10am-5.30pm (last entry), except Christmas Day. Late night opening (summer) until 8pm (last entry). Wheelchai

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      27.07.2009 18:54
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      Great gallery, better for Dali fans due to the price.

      I visited the 'Dali Universe' exhibition in mid July 2009. It is a permanent exhibit held within the County Hall Gallery, London. The entrance fees are as follows: Adults £14 Concessions £12 Children £9 (15 - 18) Children £8 (7 - 14) Family Ticket £38 (2 adults 2 children) These prices might seem a little expensive especially compared to the free galleries in London, but as a Dali fan it was worth paying. Although we didn't pay the whole amount, as there were people outside the gallery handing out tickets for £4 off and they gave us two so we only paid £10 each. I still would have paid £14 though! The entrance to the gallery is a black corridor with pictures of Dali and some quotes which was quite interesting. There is then a timeline of his life which is very extensive and I only skim read it! There are a lot of his works on display including paintings, sketches, statues, figurines, glasswork as well as about 5 dresses. There is work spanning the whole of his career and information about each piece. There is a Dali shop at the end of the gallery which had some things in it but it was quite small. I have also been to Espace Dali in Paris which was excellent, but I prefer the Dali Universe in London as they had a wider variety of works. I would highly reccommend this gallery, especially for fans of Salvador Dali.

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      03.02.2001 05:43
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      I have been a Salvador Dali fanatic ever since I can remember,one of my first memories was his painting "the Metamorphosis of Narcissus" hanging up in my dining room every time I ate.This is probably the reason I turned out as surreal as I did... Since then I have been a bit of a mad fan,I have turned up to every exhibition I can think of.Been to the Tate a couple of times to see a couple of originals of his.it was with great interest that I saw a permenant exhibition of his work and influence in the centre of London,at south bank. I went to London,to the south bank,saw some beautiful statues influenced by some of his work outside.I paid the entrance fee and stepped in.The corridor walk to the main exhibition room was very atmospheric,it had recordings of his voice over some music,quotes on the wall from him and strange photos.This set quite an atmosphere and filled me full of anticipation for what was to come. The main exhibition hall ws full of Dali watercolours,sculpture and dali furniture.One of the most impressive parts to the exhibition was the backdrop painting done by Dali for Hitchcocks' "spellbound," this is huge and has to be seen to be beliieved.It is hard to wander round this exhibition without a sense of awe over his work,Dali fan or not. Towards the end of the exhibition were a selection of Dali signed prints and originals;believe me all the times I wish i had a few hundred thousand quid,I wish that was one of them.The exhibition also has a small cafe and gift shop. This is an impresive exhibition,it would be more impressive had it featured some of Dalis' more powerful original oil paintings,and I must say the ticket price was quite steep.Dali fan or not this is an impressive exhibition,even for atmosphere alone.

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        23.10.2000 18:25
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        A visit to the 'Dalí Universe' opened up my eyes about Salvador Dalí - an amazing artist. I had seen some standard posters of his most famous works but now I know that Dalí has created so much more. The exhibition starts calmly with photographs from Dalí's life and some of his quotes. It makes you realise how egocentric he must have been yet what an odd genius he was. - "I do not paint a portrait to look like the subject, rather does the person grow to look like his portrait." - "The only difference between me and a madman is that I am not mad." After this short presentation of the artist himself you are presented with a large amount of his creations: sculptures, drawings, lithographs, oil paintings, etchings, watercolours, furniture and a movie. All together over 500 pieces and probably “Europe's most important collection of Salvador Dalí's art works.” The sculptures were the most interesting part and I especially liked to read the small explanations beside the pieces. The meaning was often profound and with several dimensions. The symbolism was very powerful and universal. Not only did this exhibition open up my eyes about Salvador Dalí, it also made me think more about my self and in ways I have not considered before. There is almost too much art to see in one go and I wish that the ticket would admit you to re-enter. I will definitely go back again but not soon due to the high price. PS Tube: Westminister DS

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        09.08.2000 20:50
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        This new permanent exhibition of Spanish artist Salvador Dali's work in London's County Hall collects together some 500 of his works of art, many of which have never previously been exhibited in the country. The collection is intriguing, containing of several of Dali's sculptures made from a range of different materials – long-legged elephants bearing giant pyramids on their backs, melted clocks draped over coat hangers, and woman-shaped chests of drawers. These sculptures are definitely the highlight of the exhibition. A friend of mine, who has visited several exhibitions of Dali's works, tells me that this is definitely the best collection of his sculptures he has seen, and they are certainly impressive. There are also several pieces of furniture designed by Dali, including the famous Mae West Lips sofa. One wall bears an enormous mural that Dali painted for the set of Hitchcock's 1945 movie, 'Spellbound'. Throughout the exhibition, films by Dali are shown on televisions hanging from the ceiling. However, the majority of the exhibition consists of several hundred etchings, lithographs, watercolours and drawings, and these are generally fairly disappointing. I think the main problem is that there is remarkably little variation in the themes, whereas in other art galleries you would be able to see the work of other artists too, this exhibition hosts the work of Dali exclusively, and consequently the concepts soon become all too familiar. There's only so many times that you can see distorted breasts or figures transformed into giant phalluses, before it loses its novelty. I accept that this is a personal opinion, and possibly others might find innovation in each picture that I've missed, but for me these became remarkably tedious quite rapidly. This is not to say that Dali is not a talented artist, and the quality of the works on display is very great, but my problem is that there is too much of it in one place, and it's all too easy to become blasé about it. Certainly, there are some superb sculptures on display, as well as some curious and interesting furniture, but frankly, I feel that the admission fee was very high for an exhibition that only takes about an hour to go round. The gallery promises that it will host visiting exhibitions of other famous artists, and I look forward to seeing what it will display in the future. One positive thing though, the gallery is located right in the tourist centre of London near Westminster Bridge and just a few feet from the London Eye, so it's very easy to get to.

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