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Dalí and Picasso celebrated in Northern Catalonia

Ceret and Perpignan open exhibitions dedicated to the works of the two influential artists


28 June 2017 11:48 AM



Some say that Pablo Picasso and Salvador Dalí admired each other’s work. Others say they had a rather tense relationship. In any case, the influence of both artists on the places where they worked is indisputable. Northern Catalonia is presenting two exhibitions which show the border-crossing connection between the art of these two masters and the cities of Northern Catalonia where they painted. Thus, the Museum of Modern Art of Ceret has opened the exhibition 'Dalí: Eureka', with more than 300 pieces by the famous Catalan artist that reveal how science influenced him. The exhibition includes 25 paintings loaned by museums and private collections as well as objects, drawings, and manuscripts by the artist himself as well as works by Man Ray, Buñuel, and Robert Descharnes. Dalí was interested in a range of scientific disciplines, from astrophysics through genetics and psychoanalysis to the theory of relativity. An understanding of this interest helps reveal new aspects of the artist’s work.

Perpignan, perhaps the most well known city in Northern Catalonia, on the French side of the Pyrenees, has recently seen the reopening of the Hyacinthe Rigaud Museum of Art with an exhibition titled “Picasso-Perpinyà, An Intimate Circle, 1953-1955” which reviews the artist’s influence on the city. The exhibit gathers more than 100 works and documents, among them photographs and unedited videos that are testimony to the artist’s relationship with Perpignan.

The Dalí exhibition at Ceret's Museum of Popular Art aims to create a particular itinerary of the genius’ work through 300 pieces, which show the influence of scientific disciplines on his artistic trajectory. In total, 180 pieces of the artist can be seen, of which 25 are paintings on loan from the Reina Sofia Museum in Madrid, the Pompidou Centre in Paris, and several private collections, as well as from the Gala-Salvador Dalí Foundation. The exhibition includes objects related to science and anatomy, drawings, and illuminated manuscripts by Dalí himself, supported by photographs, images, and movies with the artist as protagonist. Works of other artists like Man Ray, Brassai, Buñuel, Andre Raffray, and Robert Descharnes will also be shown.

  • "Dalí was not crazy, he was eccentric and extravagant and interested in science in a very deep way."

    Nathalie Gallisot · Director of the Modern Art Museum in Ceret

As the director of the museum, Nathalie Gallissot, explained in comments to ACN, the aim of the exhibition is to go beyond Dalí the painter in order to give a different interpretation not only based on the genius’ paintings but also through the books he read and the documentation and scripts he created. “Dalí was not crazy, he was eccentric and extravagant and interested in science in a very deep way,” Gallissot affirms.

At the same time, the coastal city of Perpignan has opened the exhibition “Picasso-Perpinyà, An Intimate Circle, 1953-1955”, which will run until November 5. The connection between Perpignan and Picasso is illustrated through several works that the artist painted during 1953 and 1955 including the most intimate creations that he made in Perpignan. During his time in Perpignan, the artist separated from his wife, an emotional situation that is reflected in the paintings that will be shown in the exposition.

Photographs and unedited videos can also be seen in the eight rooms of the exposition that offer 116 works of the artist. Among them are 11 oil paintings, 29 drawings, 39 photographs by Raymond Fabre (most of which have never been published), and three videos of Picasso that have never been exhibited before. The exhibit also features pieces of lithography, pottery, and terracotta as well as several postcards, telegrams, dedications, remnants of papers, and handwritten books. The director of the museum highlighted how difficult it had been to research the material since the artist's visits to the city of Perpignan were not very well documented.

According to the museum director, the aim is not only to attract visitors with a famous artist’s work but also to build bridges between the North and the South through collaboration among the different institutions and museums. In this context, the exhibition is part of the Picasso Mediterrani project, which includes numerous initiatives around the whole Mediterranean.


  • A visitor at the Picasso exhibition in Perpignan (by ACN)

  • A visitor at the Picasso exhibition in Perpignan (by ACN)