Los Angeles

Salvador Dalí

Municipal Art Galleries

Admirers of this curiously contro­versial figure often defend him on the basis of his draftsmanship. If this were indeed his principal contribution he is outstripped by dozens of unknown drudges sweating in schools and studi­os. What is truly curious about Dalí is his ability to appeal to a certain im­agination. He, along with Modigliani and Lautrec, seems to be the favorite artist of the half-lettered imaginative adolescent. It is a consciousness at once given to dream and at the same time deeply materialistic––an imagina­tion that is less creative than recrea­tive. It is altogether possible that Dalí represents a necessary step in the de­velopment of our high school students.

The fifty-odd works at Barnsdall span a thirty-year period in which he reflects an ever increasing complexity of arti­fice. We cannot imagine what inspired his recent attempt to renovate and modernize himself. There

Sign-in to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. If you are a subscriber, sign in below.

Not registered for artforum.com? Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW for only $50 a year—65% off the newsstand price—and get the print magazine plus full online access to this issue and our archive.*

Order the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.