Surrealist Master’s Small-Scale Paintings To Be Explored For The First Time

The Meadows Museum at Southern Methodist University will present the first in-depth exploration of the small-scale paintings of Salvador Dalí (1904–1989).

While many of Dalí’s canvases are known around the world and are among the defining works of the Surrealist movement, the small size of many of these works is frequently overlooked. Nearly half of the artist’s paintings during the early part of his Surrealist period (1929–1936) were actually small format works: some measuring just over a foot, and others as small as 3 x 2 inches.

Organized by the Meadows as part of its mission to present Spanish art in America, Dalí: Poetics of the Small will be on view at the Meadows Museum — the only venue for this exhibition – from Sep. 9 through Dec. 9.

The exhibition will include nearly two dozen of Dalí’s small-scale paintings, including important works such as The Accommodations of Desire (1929, Metropolitan Museum of Art), The Angelus (c. 1932, private collection), and The Weaning of Furniture-Nutrition (1934, The Dalí Museum, St. Petersburg, Florida).

While diminutive in scale, these paintings reflect Dalí’s distinctive Surrealist style—with familiar but distorted figures often set against a dramatic or barren landscape.

“Salvador Dalí has a worldwide reputation, but this exhibition is an opportunity to explore a side of his artistic development and output that is much less understood,” said Mark Roglán, the Linda P. and William A. Custard Director of the Meadows Museum. “It is clear that Dalí himself felt the size of these paintings was important, an opportunity for the artist to explore Surrealist ideas within a constrained frame, where the eye is drawn to detail differently. We are excited to provide visitors with a chance to reconsider one of the 20th century’s most important and engaging artists.”

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