Iconic Spanish surrealist painter Salvador Dali had a soft spot for Israel and
the story of the Jewish people returning to their homeland. Dali himself
never made it to the Holy Land; however, this month more than 500 of his
creations from this long and illustrious career will arrive in Israel as part of
a huge exclusive exhibition.
Enrique Sabater, curator of the one-
of-a-kind exhibition, thought it would be a fitting continuation of Dali’s
legacy to present some of his best works here in Israel, says Shuki Gur of Galim
Productions, the company responsible for the exhibition. Sabater, who acted as
Dali’s personal assistant for more than 13 years, is considered to be one of the
Spanish artist’s closest confidants and played an integral part in bringing his
works to Israel.
The exhibition will include pieces that deal with
Israel, Zionism and aliya – all themes that Dali explored with his art. As well
as the connections to Israel, the exhibition will feature some of Dali’s most
famous paintings, as well as sculptures, carvings and jewelry. Dali, who is best
known for his work The Persistence of Memory , which was completed in 1931,
became an iconic surrealist painter but is also known for his sculpture, film
With the value of the entire collection that will be
brought to Israel standing at around $60 million, it promises to be the biggest
art exhibition ever shown in Israel and the largest in the world showcasing
The logistics of such a large operation are somewhat mind
boggling, says Gur. “Since we decided to put on the exhibition, we’ve had to
deal with insurance companies, think about how to collect all the different
pieces from around the world and bring them to Israel via land, air and sea, as
well as decide how to preserve and store them once they arrive.”
ensure the smooth running of the operation, Gur and his team enlisted the help
of artwork specialists who have years of experience in transporting expensive
art around the world. “It’s been hard work, but it’s all worth it,” he says.
According to Gur, Dali is very popular in Israel, and there is a big demand to
see his work.
“There has never been such a large-scale collection of his
work in Israel, and it’s very important that the Israeli public are given the
opportunity to enjoy the artwork of one of the greatest artists of the 20th
century,” he says.
Gur is confident that those who visit the exhibition
will not be disappointed. He says that each person can interpret Dali in a
number of different ways and that people will be able to spend hours looking at
“The biggest attraction of the whole event is, of course,
Dali. He is the big selling point,” says Gur. “Whoever comes will have
the opportunity to see all of what Dali did over the years.”
A select few
of the 500 pieces being exhibited will also be available for sale. This is a
feature that is likely to bring well-known art collectors from around the world
that are interested in Dali’s work, Gur says.
The exhibition will take
place around the time of the Passover holiday at the the Haifa Congress Center
in a specially prepared space spanning more than 3,500 meters. The decision to
hold the exhibition in Haifa and not Tel Aviv or even Jerusalem was a simple
one, says Gur. He explains that people enjoy traveling during Passover and that
they are expecting people from all over the country to make the trip.
it wasn’t Passover, we would have done it in Tel Aviv,” he
Another consideration for the location was finding a place that
would be big enough to accommodate such a large collection of artwork, explains
Gur. It was also important to showcase the paintings and sculptures in a safe
place in terms of security.
Parents who want to enjoy the art but are
concerned about bringing their children will be glad to know that there will be
activities catering to the whole family, such as creative workshops and theater
performances for children and adults.
The exhibition takes place March 22
– April 6 at the Haifa Congress Center. NIS 89. For tickets, call *5151.