‘Dalí’s Floral Fantasies’ at The Dalí Museum

Opening Saturday, May 18 in celebration of the 100th anniversary of Surrealism, The Dalí Museum debuts the special exhibition Reimagining Nature: Dalí’s Floral Fantasies, showcasing the world of flowering plants reimagined by Salvador Dalí (1904-1989) with beauty and complexity. In addition to several oil paintings, the artist made three suites (series) of images based in the tradition of botanical prints, on display at The Dalí together for the first time in two decades. The breathtaking works are on view through October 20, 2024.

Crafted late in Dalí’s career, Flora Dalínae (FlorDalí), 1968, FlorDalí (Les Fruits), 1969, and Florals (Surrealist Flowers), 1972, were created during the height of the Pop Art movement during his interaction with New York Pop artists like Andy Warhol (1928–1987). Dalí’s floral hybrids, aimed at provocation and delight, survey key images associated with his works throughout his career, while forging a new personal path in the genre of printmaking.

“In cultivating plants, human beings have made fruits more abundant and colors of flowers more intense,” Dalí Museum Executive Director Hank Hine said. “Dalí’s botanical series are an exercise in this same intervention, a Surrealist collage to make a new phylum of beings, a new species of perception. Dalí seems to predict the marvels of genetic engineering, pressing the boundaries of what is imaginable and inspiring new ways of seeing the world.”

In these prints, Dalí often layered his own imagery onto original illustrations, such as those by the 18th- and 19th-century artists Pierre Antoine Poiteau and Pierre-Joseph Redouté. These traditional depictions of fruits and flowers are transformed by Dalí through the addition of a dreamlike cast of characters and symbols.

A selection of Dalí’s oil paintings incorporating floral imagery including Anatomies (1937), on loan from the collection of local art collector Ted Chernick, accompany the suites. Also on view are archival materials that served as sources of inspiration, plus Dalí’s designs for fashion advertising, such as his Vogue magazine cover of 1939 featuring his powerful image of a flower-headed woman. 

“Dalí’s long-standing fascination with botanical evolution profoundly influenced his achievements as one of the great 20th century masters of illusionism,” Peter Tush, The Dalí’s Curator of Education and curator of Dalí’s Floral Fantasies, said. “For him, nature was a source of not only beauty, but also of his singular approach to visual transformation. These images represent some of the most provocative and whimsical inventions Dalí ever made.” 

A color catalog featuring the beautiful works from Reimagining Nature: Dalí’s Floral Fantasies is available in the Museum Store and serves as a companion to the Museum’s recently published collection catalogs of paintings and drawings. Additionally, visitors can enhance their Museum experience with a special exhibition audio tour on their mobile device, available in both English and Spanish through The Dalí Museum’s mobile guide on the free arts and culture app, Bloomberg Connects. 

About The Dalí Museum

The Dalí Museum, located in downtown St. Petersburg, FL, is home to a preeminent collection of the artist’s works, with over 2,400 works representing every period and medium of Salvador Dalí’s creative life. The Dalí is recognized internationally by the Michelin Guide with its highest three-star rating; has been named one of seven museums globally that showcase the future by CNN Travel; and was named one of the 10 most interesting museums in the world by Architectural Digest.

The Museum is a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to preserve Dalí’s legacy for generations to come and serve as an active resource in the cultural life of the community and the world at large.

Open daily at One Dalí Boulevard, St. Petersburg, Fla. 33701, The Dalí welcomes all as unique individuals and is committed to making its collection, exhibitions, building and programs accessible. For more information, visit TheDali.org or download the Bloomberg Connects app for The Dalí Museum’s free mobile guide.

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