The twenty-two sculptures belonging to the Obra Contemporanea Collection come originally from the well-known Isidro Clot Collection. Each piece was modelled in wax by Dali’s own hands from 1969 to 1976 at his home in Port Lligat, and handed to the same artisans who cast the present editions using the lost wax process.
Pieces belonging to the Obra Contemporanea Collection are found in over twenty museum collections worldwide, including the “Dali Theatre-Museum” in Figueras (Spain) and “The Salvador Dali Museum” in St. Petersburg, Florida. The collection has been published in A. Reynolds Morse, Dali Sculptures Esculturas, Madrid, Hispagraphics, 1985 [ISBN 84-398-5775-6]; in Salvador Dali – Sculptures: Three Collections, Imprimerie Clerebaut, Brussels, 2003, and in Robert and Nicolas Descharnes, DALI Sculptures & Objects – Le dur et le mou, Paris, ECCART, 2004 [ISBN 2-9521023-0-9].
This collection is highly unique in that every piece was entirely Dali’s. He put his whole self in these beautifully modelled works: his mind, his heart, his skilful hands; everything from the conception to the choice and supervision of the casts was Dali’s.It is important at this point, to distinguish these art pieces modelled directly by Dali, from objects transformed by the artist for purposes of three-dimensional surrealist experimentation, or from sculpture created by third parties inspired by Dali drawings. These sculptures were created by Dali’s own hands; the same hands that were so adept with the pencil and paintbrush, proved to be just as skilled when it came to modelling, giving life to the wax, folding, caressing and smoothing it with incredible maestry.
The way they were created – modelled in wax by the poolside under the summer sun – makes these pieces even more special. They saw the light of day in an environment in which pleasure and independence predominated. This freedom of creation was to grant this unique collection the prominent place it now occupies among Salvador Dali’s sculptures.
This Collection probably represents one of the very few chances the world has to assess Dali’s achievement as a sculptor rather than as a painter or transformer of objects.The criteria may be different, but as ourselves, many people will find these sculptures of lasting value by virtue of the simple fact that they are so unlike anything else that Dali created.
Obra Contemporanea Collection