Dali Exhibition Catalogs.

Les Caprices de Goya de Salvador Dali
Exhibition Catalog
Paris, 1977

This catalog was produced around the time of the first exhibition of the Dali original intaglio print suite titled Les Caprices de Goya (1977) at the Goya Museum in Castres, France.

All 80 original etchings are reproduced in this catalog, along with comments on each image by Luis Romero, translated to French from Spanish by Joelle Guyot and Robert Marrast.

All reproductions are in color and are printed individually per page.  They are done well.  I don't speak French, so I can't comment on the content of the comments for each image.

There is something odd about my copy of this catalog.  In two places, it appears that a previous owner removed something.

On the spine, just before "Paris 1977" it appears that someone cut out a small square from the surface of the paper.  I wonder what, if anything, was printed there.  Perhaps it was just a price tag?

On the inside title page at the very bottom, someone erased or rubbed out whatever was printed there.  The printing is only slightly visible, but I have no idea what it said.

It also seems that the surface paper has been rubbed from the very top of the front cover just above the lithograph. 

Perhaps someone out there with a copy of this catalog can clarify what was removed from these places on my catalog.

I have not seen another of these catalogs for sale, so it seems relatively rare as far as exhibition catalogs go.  I estimate the value of this book to be about $40.


Dali: Above Reality
Franklin Bowles Galleries Exhibition Catalog

This short catalog has few surprises in it. 

Six limited edition print suites are represented in full-color, many of which are ample quarter-page size, and a number of which are full-page (some are even borderless).

The highlights are a nice picture of Dali and Gala in their younger years, and two original works, both mixed-media on paper. 

The original works are really nice and worth checking out.  One is reproduced here.

A notable deficiency with this publication is the poor binding.  It could be a flaw limited to my copy, but some of the pages have separated from the binding.

The catalog is uncommon, but you can expect to pay fewer than $20.


The Art of Dali
Habsburg, Feldman Auction,
Tokyo, December 17, 1989.

This is an example of an item that keeps my Dali collecting bug alive. 

Just when I thought I had seen it all, this auction catalog landed into my hands and proved me wrong.

This book documents the 57 items of Dali art auctioned more than 20 years ago in Tokyo.  In it, you will find works of various media (gouache, watercolor, india ink, collage, oil, etc.) reproduced in full color and in fine detail.

Many of the images are of the original works upon which various print suites are based.  There are, however, a number of original drawings, sketches, and inscriptions that are not seen elsewhere.

Accompanying each item is a detailed description, provenance, and auction estimate.  Although a bit outdated, these estimates offer a starting point for assessing the value of similar items. 

For instance, one seeking to estimate the value of a book inscribed by Dali with sketches finds a couple of examples for comparison in this auction catalog.

Also noteworthy is a 1969 design for a record jacket, a surrealist object circa 1961, a 1966 costume for the year 2000, and a few sketches for the Disney animated film "Destino."

This catalog is a must-have for the avid Dali collector.  You should be able to find a copy for fewer than $30.


The Fantastic Universe of Salvador DALI
Catalog of 14 limited edition suites exhibited July-September 1989 at the Salle Gaveau in Paris.

As my Salvador Dali book library grows, books like this become less useful, though they are nontheless artistically appreciable.

The main substance of this catalog are the Dali reproductions taken from various suites of engravings, etchings, lithographs, etc.  Most of the suites are reproduced in color at a decent size of about a quarter-page.

You will find all of these images in the Field catalog, albeit at a lesser quality (my primary gripe with the official Dali print catalog).

You will also find most of these suites reproduced among the combination of two other fine publications: Dali: A Fifty Year Retrospective (Silverstate Fine Art, 2001) and Dali Sculptor - Dali Illustrator (Stratton Foundation, 1989).

It is worthwhile to note that the two above catalogs contain numerous other reproductions as well, making both of them a great resource for any Dali aficionado.

The only suites not covered in the above books, making The Fantastic Universe of Salvador DALI unique in this respect are:
  • The Castle of Otranto (12 etchings reproduced in b&w);
  • The Poems of Mao Tse-Tung (8 etchings reproduced in b&w);
  • Cassandra's Lovers (18 etchings reproduced in b&w);
  • The Furred Venus (20 etchings reproduced in b&w);
  • Paradise Lost (12 etchings reproduced in color);
  • The Quest of the Grail (12 etchings reproduced in color);
  • Nine Landscapes (9 etchings reproduced in b&w).
If all of the above were in color, I would be gushing over this book.

Nevertheless, additional hilights are:
  • Le Tricorne (20 engravings reproduced in color);
  • The Divine Comedy (100 engravings reproduced in color);
  • L'Art D'Aimer (13 engravings reproduced in color);
  • SNCF Posters (6 in color);
  • Moses and Monotheism (10 lithographs and etchings reproduced in color).
Let us not forget the unique cover photo of Dali.  I have never seen that picture reproduced elsewhere.

All-in-all, a neat little book filled with some great reproductions, some not commonly reproduced elsewhere.

The book is relatively rare and you can expect to pay more than $40 for a nice copy.


Hommage a Meissonier:
Lithographies Originales de Salvador Dali
(Hotel Meurice, 1967)

This is the exhibition catalog for the unveiling of Dali's masterwork "Tuna Fishing" at the Hotel Meurice (Paris) in November, 1967.

The catalog has a plain white soft cover wrapped in an illustrated yellow dust jacket.

The text of the catalog is in French, so I am not able to provide more details as to that aspect of the content.

The catalog contains several b&w illustrations, only one of which by Dali (Tuna Fishing).  In addition, there are four original Dali lithographs on colored paper of card stock thickness.

Clearly, these lithographs are studies for images in Tuna Fishing, and are readily detected in the masterwork.

These booklet lithographs are referenced by Field as #67-2 (page 127), with 2000 printed (assumed per image).  Upon this information, it is presumed that the catalog is limited to 2000 copies.

My catalog came with a supplement on card stock that appears to be a poetic homage to Dali and/or the exhibition.  The inside is a handwritten facsimile with a two-thirds foldover with typewritten text.  I am not sure how this item fits in with the package, but others have reported the item with their catalogs, so they seem to go together.

The cost of this catalog seems to vary widely across the internet, but one consistent aspect is that sellers place a high value on it.  With average prices firmly into the $200 range, it's hard to imagine anybody is buying. 

Indeed, I don't think the demand is out there, especially at that price, even with four original Dali lithographs limited to 2000 copies.  These particular lithographs are not causing that much of a stir in the overall scheme of things.

Most likely, this catalog would sell quite readily in the $100 range.  My copy has some light foxing, but is otherwise in good condition, so I was able to get it for a bit less.


Dali Sculptor - Dali Illustrator
Stratton Foundation Exhibition Catalog, 1989; reprint 1995.

As far as Dali exhibition catalogs are concerned, one thing is certain: Stratton Foundation publications do not disappoint.  I absolutely love this catalog.

It is a lengthy 261 pages and is filled with stunning full-page color photos of Dali sculptures, and generously-sized color reproductions of a number of illustration suites (etchings, lithographs, watercolors, dry-points, engravings, etc.), and much more.

You'll also find a number of unique photos of Dali at work and at play, a section of objects made of gold, and a section of works titled "anamorphoses."  These latter works appear distorted until viewed in the reflection of a round tube strategically placed on top of the work.  I remember seeing some of these in person at the museum in Figueres back in 1995.

Some of the illustration suites reproduced in this catalog are:
  • Don Quichotte (1957, 12 lithographs);
  • Le Tricorne (1959, 20 wood engravings);
  • La Vida es Sueno (1975, 16 watercolors);
  • Casanova (1967, 14 lithographs);
  • Le Marquis de Sade (1968, 25 lithographs);
  • Alice in Wonderland (1969, 13 engravings);
  • Gargantua and Pantagruel (1973, 25 lithographs);
  • Moses and Monotheism (1974, 10 lithograph-ethings);
... and many more.

There are also several short essays written by Dali scholars such as Albert Field, Reynolds Morse, and Beniamino Levi.

This is one catalog that you don't want to pass by, especially if you don't have any Stratton catalogs in your collection.  These people really put out a superb product.

You might be able to find one of these for under $20, especially if you wait it out for a rare auction, otherwise you might have to shell out about $40 for this catalog.  You definitely need one of these, so happy hunting!


Exhibition Catalog; Italy/Philadelphia, 2005
by Rizzoli, 2004.

If you are more than a casual admirer of Dali's art, then you need this book in your collection.  It is a fantastic and essential reference source.

The sheer size and weight of the book gives one the feeling that there's a lot going on inside.  The book is 607 pages and weighs over six pounds.  You really need two hands to pick it up!

The first part, Catalog of Works, is arranged chronologically, and features 249 numbered works with a plethora of unnumbered supporting images.  All of the reproductions are large and of excellent quality, with fantastic color.  In fact, all color images are reproduced in color--no cheap-out black-and-white inferiority here.  Oh, and there's lots of rarities.

Each work is accompanied by an insightful text which speaks to points of interest such as the time and/or place the work was created as well as any prevailing themes, moods, inspirations, or attitudes surrounding Dali or the world at that time.  I am particularly impressed by the discussion of works that were contemporary, or precursors to, Dali's piece, and which may have served as an influence.

Following the Catalog of Works is the Encyclopedia which offers insight into topics, people, and vocabulary related to Dali.  In this section, one finds two pages of postcards sent by Dali to Picasso.  Very cool!!!

Next is the illustrated Chronology of Dali's life.  Many of the images are rarely seen, if ever.

Finally is the section entitled Selected Writings of Salvador Dali, all of which are referenced in various parts of the book.

If this wasn't enough, the book's Appendix features a ton of reference materials including an exhaustive list of Dali Exhibitions, and a complete Bibliography of every book by, about, or featuring art/writings of Dali.  The bibliography serves as a checklist of publications for the avid Dali book hunter to spend a lifetime collecting.

Need I say more?  This book is a must-have.  Go and get one today!  Easy to find, expect to pay about $20, and it's worth triple that.


Salvador Dali: retrospective 1920-1980
December 18, 1979 - April 14, 1980
Georges Pompidou Center, National Museum of Modern Art (France).

Normally I eschew bringing a foreign-language publication into the SDBC Library, but at under $20, this French Dali exhibition catalog was a low monetary risk.  After all, a picture is worth a thousand incomprehensible words ... right?

The soft cover of this catalog is covered in a fabric resembling the feel of denim, and the pattern is really cool--it looks like pieces of flesh torn from an animal, giving it an almost three-dimensional appearance.  This must be the most unique cover in my collection, though it's a bit sun-tanned at the top.  It has obviously sat next to a shorter book for a long time before I rescued it!

On the inside, it is a rather typical catalog visually, but it is quite comprehensive.  It is sizeable at over 400 pages.  Almost every page is filled with at least one illustration, many are full-page, with a good mixture of color and black and white images. 

I wonder how the decision is made to reproduce images in color--on one page you get "Tuna Fishing" in color, and on the facing page you get "The Hallucinogenic Bullfighter" in full-page black and white.  Sheesh!

Anyhoo, many of the common pieces of Dali's oeuvre are represented here--but I bought this foreign-language catalog hoping for the atypical.  First, let me say that I know I would enjoy this catalog a thousand times more if I could understand the French text.

As to the atypical, there are a number of nice surprises in this catalog.  In no particular order, here are some of the hilights of this catalog (for me):
  • a number of pictures of Dali that are not commonly reproduced elsewhere;
  • excellent color reproduction, especially on darker paintings that in other catalogs tend to be too dark to make out any detail;
  • quarter-page reproductions of four of six "Consequences" as identified in Descharnes & Neret's tome "Dali: The Paintings" (circa 1934, page 217 in the single-volume version);
  • rare half-page color repro of "Spectre du sior" (1930);
  • rare full-page color repro of pastel "Visage perdu" (c. 1930);
  • rare full-page color repro of "Le Spectre et le fantome" (c. 1931);
  • a number of rarely-seen drawings, sketches, collages, illustrations, and works-in-progress;
  • rare half-page color repro of "Nude on the Plain of Rosas" as identified in Descharnes & Neret's tome "Dali: The Paintings" (circa 1942, page 347 in the single-volume version);
  • 43 illustrations to "Le Chants de Maldoror," most sized at 1/9th of a page, several are larger;
I think this catalog is quite rare if you don't know that it exists.  I have only recently become aware of it after years of collecting Dali publications, but I was able to find a decent copy for a reasonable price.  You could luck out and pay about $20 for a copy like I did, but you are more likely to pay at least $35 and up for a decent copy of this catalog.  If you understand French, I would value this book a bit more since it has more to offer you as far as the text is concerned.

So, that's it, the first foreign-language aquisition to the SDBC Library!

UPDATE: there is a Second Edition of this publication that is identical in every respect to the First Edition except for an extra 229 pages appended to the end.  This makes the book a bit thicker.  The extra pages present a chronological history of the public life of Dali and is replete with photos, illustrations and reproductions.  Although I can't read the French text, I think this Second Edition is worth the purchase because of the extra content.


Dante Aligheri's Divine Comedy Illustrated by Salvador Dali:
Re-established Correspondence Between Text and Images
Exhibition Commemorating Salvador Dali's Hundredth Birthday
Wolfgang Everling (Second Edition, 2003).

Although this appears to be an exhibition catalog, it clearly fits the bill as a scholarly text. 

This book is 8" by 8" square and comes in a slip cover with two publications:
  1. An 80-page main text with all 101 Divine Comedy Dali watercolors, 42 of which are full-page, the rest are fractions of a page (about one-sixth of a page).
  2. A 37-page translation of the main text into Spanish by Enrique Esteban Zepeda Vazquez.
The author alleges that in the past, "misleadingly, one image was assigned to each canto." This scholarly work attempts to correct past inaccuracies by aligning each illustration with the proper canto.  According to this author, only 70 canti were illustrated, so that the number of images illustrating a particular canto varies from zero to three.

The main text features rubrics (summaries) for each canto taken from an Italian manuscript, the Codex Altonesis, followed by English translations and appropriate remarks. 

Each illustration is presented in its proper arrangement and with a caption, a citation translated into English and "expressing a conspicuous detail of the image," followed by additional discussion by the author.

A fascinating read, if you're into this type of thing.

Oh, and at the end of the main text is a discussion of a 102nd Divine Comedy watercolor with a black and white reproduction of it.

If you speak German, you can order this publication from the web site at http://www.dante-2000.de/.  Otherwise, check out the Spanish translator under his eBay name "kikez" who regularly auctions this catalog within the US.  It'll cost around $35-$60 plus shipping.


The Dali Universe
by Beniamino Levi (2000)

Levi is the curator for The Dali Universe exhibition at London’s County Hall Gallery. This publication accompanies that exhibition.

The first 27 pages are on off-white matte finish paper featuring duotone (purple) pictures of Dali with essays by Levi, Sabater, Albert Field, etc.

The rest of the book is on glossy paper and is filled with color photos “of various rare artworks … including sculptures, artglass, collages, gold objets d’art, furniture, and rare graphic portfolios.”

Features pictures of Dali creations I have seen nowhere else–and I have a large Dali book library.

Also features a double-page gatefold of Dali’s work on Alfred Hitchcock’s movie Spellbound.

A great book filled with great color images of Dali work. A must-have for your Dali library. Expect to pay about $20 for this book.


Dali in Manhattan
Brana Fine Art (2002)

What a great book of Dali art! Filled with a ton of rare and one-of-a-kind images that you will find in no other publication. Has 234 heavyweight glossy pages. All reproductions are high quality and in full color, and are sized at one per page.

Chapter features:

  • one-of-a-kind: contains just that – one-of-a-kind oil paintings, watercolor artwork, pencil drawings, pen and ink drawings, gouache, acrylic, and mixed media images.
  • prints: an assortment of lithograph, intaglio, etching, and prints from various sources.
  • print-suites: photos of portfolios of a number of suites, with a couple of sample images from the suite.
  • sculptures & tapestry: about three dozen sculptures and two tapestries.
This book is rare and has a cover price of $59.95, however, you should expect to pay about $30 or so for a copy of this book if it turns up.


Dalí Die Ausstellung

I came across this portfolio of prints in an online auction and I am so glad I snatched this up. The large softcover portfolio opens up to reveal a 16-page booklet about the exhibition (written in German) on the left side and 54 high-quality reproduction prints on the right side. Each print can be easily removed for framing.

Among the prints are 10 Dalinian Flowers, 12 Dalinian Fruits, 4 Don Quichotte (1956-57) and 28 others. Some are pictured below. In addition, this set came with a press CD that features 14 high-quality TIFF format images mostly of the fruits and flowers, photos of the exhibition gallery, some exhibition artwork, and an 11-minute black and white video of Dali creating the cover of the book L’Acopalypse set to some opera music.

I think this portfolio is extremely rare since I have not seen it for sale before, or since, I purchased it. If you do find it for sale, count yourself lucky, and expect to pay probably about $35.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Wow, you have an extensive collection of Dali's books! with that said I was wondering if you could provide some insight on my search of a particular piece. I was wondering if there is any book to your knowledge that displays "FAUST SORCIERES AU BALAI 1969" etchings. It is a series of drawings of "witches on a broom".