Friday, June 5, 2009

Postcard from the edge

Without a doubt, Salvador Dalí's visual landscapes are as wild as they are hypnotic. The image on this postcard sent by Dalí to Meyer Schapiro is of Cadaqués, a fishing village in Catalonia, Spain that Dalí visited regularly throughout his life. Not unlike the artist's own work, the postcard image has a distilled quality reminiscent of Dalí's surreal landscapes.

The postcard was sent by Dalí to Schapiro in 1935, a year after the artist was introduced to American art circles by the dealer Julian Levy and where Schapiro may have met the artist. Dalí's debut exhibition in New York included the now famous and iconic painting The Persistence of Memory, which the Museum of Modern Art in New York holds in its permanent collection.

Trying my best at deciphering his script, it seems Dalí wrote to Schapiro about his forthcoming trip to Paris and the possibility that the two might be able to meet when Dalí arrives in the city of lights. Schapiro did in fact travel to Europe in the 1930s, but it was later in the decade in 1939 right before World War II began. On that trip, Schapiro met another intriguing fellow, a man who believed in the power of popular culture, Walter Benjamin.


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