Artist: Salvador Dalí
Title: Liquid Tornado Bath Tub (from Dalí's Imaginations & Objects of the Future portfolio)
Year created: 1975
Medium: Original Etching + Lithograph + Collage with Pochoir Hand-Coloring, on Japon Paper
Edition: XLI/LXXV (41/75) Hand-Signed & Numbered Limited Edition, from the rare Roman Numeral Limited Edition in English on Japon Paper
Height (inches): 39
Width (inches): 27
Depth (inches): 1-1/8
Signed by the artist
Signed Area: front
This piece is framed.
Description of piece:
This surrealist masterpiece from Salvador Dalí, Liquid Tornado Bath Tub, is from Dalí’s significant Imaginations and Objects of the Future portfolio.
In the early 1970s gallerist Robert Chase proposed to Salvador Dalí the concept of Dalí picturing himself as the 20th century Leonardo da Vinci, giving to the world what he imagined the future would hold.
Knowing that Dalí greatly admired da Vinci as both a thinker and a creative genius was still not adequate preparation for Dalí’s reaction to the concept. Dalí reportedly rolled his eyes as indication of an extraordinary epiphany, and (the artist speaking in an outrageously exaggerated French-Catalan accent) Dalí loudly exclaimed, "Fantastique! Bravo! Dal-i create the fu-ture!"
And thus Dalí created his imaginatively creative and predictively futuristic "Imaginations and Objects of the Future”— a suite of ten drypoint etchings combined with lithography, added color by the method of pochoir, and collage. Each extravagantly surrealist, the suite included artworks predicting self-driving cars and smart-phones, along with inventions that could only have come from the extraordinary imagination of the artist— all expressed through the fantastical lens of Dalí, as the modern da Vinci.
Liquid Tornado Bath Tub is hand-signed by Dalí, lower right, directly in the image area. Dalí has signed boldly, in pencil. The work bears the edition number XLI/LXXV (41/75), lower left, also in pencil.
In text on the original, oversized title sleeve, which served as a chemise for the artwork and which will accompany the framed work, are the artist’s own words describing his inventive Liquid Tornado Bath Tub:
“This is fantastic! If you want to bathe, you pick up your radio-phone and call for your captain. Momentarily there will appear in the sky a special helicopter which can create a vortex. At your will, there is released from the helicopter a miniature water spout which we can pilot where we wish. This waterspout comes down and cleanses your body. It contains special cleansing substances so that we bathe without a bathtub, no receptacle and no other device. We are now fresh and clean. The helicopter goes away and we go out to dinner.”
Liquid Tornado Bath Tub unites some of Dalí’s most iconic elements with imagery unique to this composition. His iconic ‘spinning man’ is here transmuted into two tornadoes, one superimposed with a female form and topped by the helicopter described by Dalí, both in bright yellow. Classic Dalí-esque birds fly overhead. Within a bathtub, encircled by golden yellow, is a second figure; while the bathtub itself has legs formed of two eye-lashed faces.
A television, placed nearly in the direct center of the composition, has a collaged multicolored screen. Above the bathtub is a red umbrella, spouting blue cascades of water; while beneath the bathtub is a delicately drawn etching of a seated figure, with wispy botanicals echoing the umbrella and cascading water. One of the hidden treasures in the work are the words written among the botanical drawings, written backwards (as in the projecting, reversing mirrors of a camera or old-fashioned television technology). One may read the words by holding the artwork to a mirror. (The final two images in the auction images show this area of the artwork as seen by the eye, and reversed for reading.)
Stored flat since 1975, and now framed for the first time (hinged with easily removable tape), the artwork comes framed and ready for display in a lightweight, classic black frame with custom acid-free matting in cream. Framed size measures 39” in height x 27” width x 1-1/8” depth.
Catalogued in Dalí expert Albert Field's authoritative Official Catalog of The Graphic Works of Salvador Dalí, Reference 75-11 B, page 104, Liquid Tornado Bath Tub was created by Desjobert (lithographs), Rigal (engravings) and Chicago Serigraphic Workshop (hand-applied collage); and published by Merrill Chase, Chicago / Alan Rich, New York. Liquid Tornado Bath Tub comes accompanied by a certificate of authenticity.
Salvador Dalí, born Salvador Domingo Felipe Jacinto Dalí i Domènech, (1904-1989) was a prominent artist born in Figueres, Spain, in the foothills of the Pyrenees, sixteen miles from the French border, in Catalonia. Dalí's expansive artistic repertoire included film, sculpture, and photography, in collaboration with a range of artists in a variety of media, and he is best known for his surrealist work, including his most well-known painting, The Persistence of Memory. Highly imaginative, Dalí attributed his "love of everything that is gilded and excessive, my passion for luxury and my love of oriental clothes" to an ancestry of descent from the medieval Moors. His individualistic nature and resistance to conformity made waves, including among his colleagues. In 1934, when Dalí was subjected to a "trial", in which he was formally expelled from the Surrealist group, Dalí retorted, "le Surrealisme c'est moi": "I myself am surrealism".
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