Temporary exhibition with portraits by Philippe Halsman in the Loggias Room – Dalí Theatre-Museum, Figueres.
The aim of showing Variants from Dali’s Mustache is to give greater importance to the presence of the artist in his own museum. To this end, we have chosen images by one of the great photographers of the twentieth century, Philippe Halsman, a Latvian who settled in the United States, with whom Dalí developed a professional relationship of over 37 years. For this exhibition, we have selected 23 photographs that were not included in the book by the two artists entitled Dali’s Mustache, published by Simon and Schuster (New York) in 1954. The material presented here is little known and of great value.
The relationship between Dali and Halsman
The collaboration between Dalí and Halsman began in 1941. They met while working on Labyrinth, a project performed by the Ballets Russes at New York’s Metropolitan Opera House in 1941, for which Halsman photographed the costumes designed by Dalí. They continued to work closely together on joint commissions mainly related to ballet, but also generated their own projects such as Dali’s Midsummer Night’s Mare, Dali Atomicus, Dali Sculpture with Light, and In Voluptate Mors in which models are arranged in the shape of a skull. In 1960, Halsman documented the making of Dalí’s film Chaos and Creation.
Philippe Halsman explains the concept of the jointly produced book Dali’s Mustache as follows: “In 1954, the growth of Dali’s mustache miraculously increased. When the painter returned to New York I was amazed: the points of his mustache were higher than his eyebrows. I saw my duty and started to photograph the play and interplay of his mustache. I needed Dalí’s consent and I approached the great surrealist cautiously: ‘Books have been written about you and about other painters. But there is no book about a part of their personality, as, for instance, Rembrandt’s nose or Picasso’s foot. What a tribute to your genius, Dalí! A book to appear – dedicated not to the whole but only to a small part of you!”.
Exhibition curated by Montse Aguer, director of the Dalí Museums, and coordinated by Rosa Maria Maurell, from the CED.
Irène Halsman is the daughter of Philippe Halsman, famous photographer and friend of S. Dalí. On July 12th 2016, accompanied by her son Oliver, she visited our exhibition and gave us an interview about how some of the portraits her father took of Dalí were thought and made. This video is a valuable document to understand the exhibition and the relationship of both artists.
A project by the Fundació Gala-Salvador Dalí and filmed by Doc Doc Films.
The exhibition in images
Why visit the exhibition?
"To enjoy a project fruit of the imagination of two great artists, Salvador Dalí and Philippe Halsman." Rosa Maria Maurell Coordinator of the exhibition
"With his photographs, Halsman managed to build a bridge between the man and Dalí which is often hidden in his own paintings."
Andrea Consalvi Work experience student of the Center for Dalinian Studies