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Eric Schaal
LOT ID: 75849
Dream of Venus, 1939

Silver Print, Gelatin silver print
9.25 х 8 in. (23.5 x 20.32 cm.)
Stamped, "Photo Eric Shaal", "Private Copy", and "Pix Publishing Inc" stamped verso. "Dali's Dream of Venus World's Fair NY 1939" inscribed verso.
Lot description
A vintage print of Salvador Dali’s surrealist pavilion called Dream of Venus, a work which attracted the most attention at the 1939 New York World’s Fair. The pavilion was the idea of architect / artist Ian Woodner, who pitched it to Julian Levy, a major proponent of the surrealist movement and it was Levy who decided to bring Dali aboard. Dali’s finished structure was a spectacular façade full of protrusions which formed the entranceway, and between its irregular openings visitors could see a reproduction of Leonardo da Vinci’s Saint John the Baptist and Botticelli's Birth of Venus. Inside the building, a Venus reclined on an enormous bed adorned with flowers and red satin. Between the artist's original idea and the project's end result, however, significant alterations were made which led Dalí to complain about the organizer's impositions in a pamphlet he entitled Declaration of the Independence of the Imagination and the Rights of Man to his own Madness.

In 2003, the Queens Museum mounted an exhibition of Eric Schaal’s photographs documenting the construction of Dali’s installation, augmented by a selection of additional photographs and other documents. The Queens Museum exhibition beautifully captured the public impact of Dalí’s Surrealist activity in America, and gives us a marker from which we can measure present and future parameters of the freedom artists are willing to explore.
Dream of Venus by Eric Schaal
  • Dream of Venus by Eric Schaal
  • Dream of Venus by Eric Schaal
  • Dream of Venus by Eric Schaal
  • Dream of Venus by Eric Schaal
  • Dream of Venus by Eric Schaal
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