"Galuchka: Russian Muse and Icon" Opens

The Salvador Dali Museum presents “Galuchka: Russian Muse and Icon.” “A single being has attained a plan of life whose image is comparable to the serene perfection of the Renaissance, Gala, my wife, who I had the miraculous good fortune to choose. Consequently, in all of the great genre paintings, there appears the one and only unique presence, the visible woman, Gala.” – Salvador Dali

This exhibit presents a selection of 43 images of Gala, Dali’s Russian wife, who was both his muse and icon throughout his career. The exhibit from the permanent collection includes two original portraits by Dali one hologram, and a variety of photos from different points in her life by photographers including Philippe Halsman, Marc Lacroix, Meliton Casals “Meli” and Robert Descharnes.

Born Helena Diakanoff Devulina in Kazan, Russia, on August 26, 1894, she was destined to become one of the most enigmatic females of the early twentieth century. She was deliberately evasive about the details of her youth, and even her birth date and the spelling of her name have been disputed. One fact generally agreed upon is that the names Galuchka and Gala were both nicknames from her childhood. It was through the dedications of her first husband, the Surrealist poet Paul Eluard, that she became known to the world as Gala.

As a muse, Gala was unrivaled in the world of Surrealism. Not only did she marry two of the greatest Surrealists, Dali and Eluard, inspiring some of their best work, but her charisma and intelligence led to affairs with other Surrealists including Max Ernst and Giorgio de Chirico. When a Surrealist would create a particularly fine work, it was said that “he was inspired by Gala.”

Yet in the summer of 1929, when Gala met Dali she turned her back on the group to devote herself to the intense young Spaniard. While she was 10 years older than Dali she sensed a common bond and recognized the authenticity of his vision and its potential, guiding him from success to success for the next fifty years. This exhibit surveys the various facets of Gala’s life with Dali from model, wife, and companion, to thinker, advisor and muse. Gala is celebrated throughout Dali’s paintings and writings, and they remained together through her death of heart failure on June 10, 1982, at the age of 87. She is buried in her castle in Pubol, near Figueres, Spain.

Published in: on September 22, 2003 at 1:36 am  Leave a Comment  

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