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Un chien andalou
Dali Universe (London)
Member Name: MykReeve
Dali Universe (London)
Date: 09/08/00, updated on 09/08/00 (568 review reads)
Advantages: Excellent sculptures, good location
Disadvantages: Themes get a bit monotonous, high entrance fee
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 blasť 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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