A stupendous showcase

The world’s largest exhibition of works by Salvador Dali will be on display in Haifa during Passover.

a stupendous showcase (photo credit: Courtesy)
a stupendous showcase
(photo credit: Courtesy)
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 and photography.
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 Dali’s work.
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.”
To 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 each piece.
“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.
“If it wasn’t Passover, we would have done it in Tel Aviv,” he explains.
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.