In an illustrated article published in The American Weekly in 1935, Dalí declared that the difference between a madman and a surrealist is that the madman confuses two worlds, that of illusion and that of reality, while a surrealist is able to differentiate between them. Many years later, when the artist was in the process of creating the Castle of Púbol, his work, with Gala as its protagonist, continued to span the two worlds.
With the show Gala’s Púbol. Illusion and Reality we carry on in the line commenced in 2020 with the exhibition Gala/Dalí/Dior. Of Art and Fashion. This year, the Fundació Gala-Salvador Dalí has set itself to investigating the construction of Gala’s image through original work by Salvador Dalí and one of the most iconic of the 1970s looks of the muse.
Illusion and reality
The exhibition explores the different ways in which Gala is represented. On the one hand, we are faced with an imagined, idealised Gala, the lady of the castle, to whom Dalí professes his courtly love, while on the other, as in Portrait of Gala (c. 1976), we are surprised by the verism with which the muse is represented.
The poetics of the ruin
Ruins are a constant presence in Púbol, often in the form of a trompe-l’œil image, and stand out as significant motifs in this exhibition. In the first area, which is that of illusion, they enrich in the drawings and projects for the decoration of the castle. In contrast, in the second area, which is that of reality, the flaking of the paint bears witness to the passage of time and the deterioration it inevitably brings.
The Refuge of the Visible Woman
The last area of the exhibition screens a section of the documentary The Refuge of the Visible Woman (1982-1989), made in 2017 and included in the film trilogy Salvador Dalí. In Search of Immortality, produced by the Fundació Gala-Salvador Dalí and directed by David Pujol. The excerpt shown poetically combines statements by the artist and archive images of Púbol Castle, serving to emphasize the fascination that the genius of the Empordà felt for ruins.
IMAGES OF THE EXHIBITION
Gala’s Púbol. Illusion and reality
Texts by Montse Aguer, Director of the Dalí Museums, Jordi Artigas, Coordinator of the houses-museum of Púbol and Portlligat, Bea Crespo and Lucia Moni, from the Centre for Dalinian Studies.Download the publication
Why visit the exhibition?
I had to give Gala a setting more solemnly worthy of our love. That is why I give her the twelfth-century castle in which she reigns, and which I shall not speak of, for I have meant her to be its absolute sovereign. Salvador Dalí
Gala took me by the hand and suddenly said to me: “Thank you once again. I accept the Castle of Púbol but on one condition: that you will only come to visit me at the castle by written invitation”. This condition gratified, above all, my masochistic sentiments and thrilled me, Gala became the impregnable castle she had always been. Salvador Dalí
Yes, it is thought that I am a fortress, well defended and perfectly organised, when at best I might be a small tottering tower that, out of modesty, tries to cover itself with thick ivy, conceal its by now deteriorated walls and find a bit of solitude. Gala
It is our hope that this exhibition may afford the visitor entry to a singular poetic world, at once mythic and real, which tells us about Gala and Dalí, and a unique scenographic universe, both creative and vital. Gala seen by Dalí, seen by us, and seen by herself or as she wanted us to see her, between the illusion of being and the reality of existing. Montse Aguer Director of the Dalí Museums
The Gala Dalí Castle in Púbol provides the ideal setting in which to show the different representations of an indomitable Gala who never ceased to fascinate Salvador Dalí and fire his imagination. Bea Crespo and Lucia Moni Centre for Dalinian Studies
The exhibition invites us to enjoy Salvador Dalí’s mastery of the art of drawing as we discover the artist's projects to turn a medieval castle into the image of Gala and create a lost paradise for his companion, outside of time. Jordi Artigas Coordinator of the Houses-museum of Púbol and Portlligat