Fredericton, New Brunswick May 11, 2010 — In a move reminiscent of the saying “go big or stay home” the Beaverbrook Art Gallery’s iconic oil on canvas Santiago El Grande, created by the Spanish surrealist painter Salvador Dalí (1904-1989), is leaving its home in Fredericton, where it has been exhibited since 1959, for the first time. This summer it travels to Atlanta, Georgia, as a centerpiece image for the exhibition Salvador Dalí: The Late Work, organized by the High Museum of Art in collaboration with the Salvador Dalí Museum, St. Petersburg, Florida, and the Fundació Gala-Salvador Dalí, Figueres, Spain. The High Museum of Art will be the sole venue for the exhibition which will run from August 7, 2010, through January 9, 2011.
The High Museum of Art describes Salvador Dalí: The Late Work as the first major exhibition to reevaluate the last half of Salvador Dalí’s career. The exhibition contains more than 40 paintings and drawings, prints and Dalí ephemera. It also explores the artist’s interest in science and optical illusions, and examines his connections to such artists as Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein and Willem de Kooning.
Santiago El Grande was originally designed for display at the 1957 Brussels World’s Fair. It was purchased from Dalí by Lady Dunn and gifted to the Beaverbrook Art Gallery in 1959 by the Sir James Dunn Foundation. The monumental masterwork (measuring 407.7 cm x 304.8cm) revisits the traditional theme of Christ’s Ascension. It depicts the apostle Saint James of Compostella, patron saint of Spain, in his role as mediator between the earthly and heavenly realms as he escorts the risen Christ to heaven. Conceived in a dream, it has been described as one of Dalí’s greatest paintings.
Beaverbrook Art Gallery Director and CEO Bernard Riordon says: “The loan of Santiago El Grande, one of our most important and popular signature works of art in our permanent collection, demonstrates how the Beaverbrook Art Gallery plays an ambassadorial role for New Brunswick around the world. We are pleased that its presentation in Atlanta will increase public access to this world-renowned masterwork.”