Dalí Foundation plans more immersive exhibitions

Museums to explore more digitized artworks in face of rising costs and physical boundaries

The works of Salvador Dalí shown in a large-scale projection in the walls of IDEAL Digital Arts Center in Barcelona
The works of Salvador Dalí shown in a large-scale projection in the walls of IDEAL Digital Arts Center in Barcelona / IDEAL Digital Arts Center
Catalan News

Catalan News | @catalannews | Barcelona

November 17, 2022 05:49 PM

The Gala-Salvador Dalí Foundation is planning on promoting more immersive exhibitions by 2023 to dodge the rising transportation costs of artworks and the physical boundaries for some regions, as museums only attract 75% the amount of visitors as in 2019.

The foundation promotes the works of Catalan surrealist painter Salvador Dalí in the Dalí Theater-Museum in Figueres, the castle of Púbol, and the artist's old house in Portlligat, all based in Catalonia.

Jordi Mercader, the president of the Dalí Foundation, announced that the organization plans to promote more immersive exhibitions next year to ease costs, as insurance on paintings “have multiplied by three,” in addition to the rising prices to transport artworks.

Mercader wants to open “new realities” across the exhibitions and even beyond the Catalan borders, calling the foundation a “pioneering” work when it comes to finding immersive ways to present artwork.

Before the pandemic, the foundation began exploring the digital world through an exhibition in an old quarry transformed to show multimedia shows in southern France 'Les Carrières de Lumières,' and the Dalí Theater-Museum in Figueres recently added a hologram to their collection as part of the ‘Transgressing the Venus’ exhibition that shows the multifaceted artist’s interpretations of the ancient Greek work.

The Figueres museum will also host ‘Christ of Saint John of the Cross’, one of Dalí’s most known works that is currently presented in the Kelvingrove Museum in Glasgow, starting November 2023. The painting will be visible for the first time in Spain since 1952.

The foundation plans to have four immersive projects running next year that will promote Dalí’s work across other countries while traveling, including one at the International Fashion Center in Guiyang, China.

Despite the foundation's commitment to digital projects, Mercader assured that "quality will prevail over economic performance.”

'Dalí Cybernetic' at IDEAL 

 IDEAL, the digital arts center in Barcelona, are currently running an immersive exhibition on the life and works of Salvador Dalí. 

The gallery uses new technologies such as augmented reality, the metaverse, and large-scale projections to place audiences within the artworks being displayed, and offers a new way of experiencing the pieces. 


 The exhibition takes a look at the exploratory mind of Dalí, his biography, and how he delved into topics such as the 3rd and 4th dimensions, sacred geometry, quantum and nuclear physics, and DNA, which to him proved our species’ “immortality”. 

Reaching more people

The president hopes the artworks can reach Russian and Chinese markets through immersive exhibitions, as these are two demographics that have not recovered in the past year due to pandemic restrictions in the Asian country and the limitation of communication since Russia's invasion of Ukraine. Mercader added that there is still “an uncertainty” regarding the future of Russian visitors.

The three museums dedicated to the surrealist artist registered around 664,000 visitors between January and September of this year, 75% of the number of people that visited in 2019. More positively, figures did rise 141% in comparison to last year, as museums had to remain closed for certain periods and Covid restrictions denied foreign visitors.

The foundation also noticed a decrease in American and Italian visitors and plans to “carry out specific actions to recover these two audiences.”

Protecting the art

As a reaction to recent protests by environmental activists in museums, such as what was seen at the Egyptian Museum in Barcelona this week, the Dalí Foundation has taken measures to increase the safety of the artworks. 

“We have reinforced vigilance at the accesses to control that no one brings in products that could be used to attack the paintings,” Mercader said.

The president added that “zero risk does not exist” and that the foundation will “follow the phenomenon with concern.”