Salvador Dalí. Illumined Pleasures. 1929

Salvador Dalí Illumined Pleasures 1929

The Museum of Modern Art, Floor 5, Collection Galleries

The title of this work may refer to the luminous imagery projected on or performed within the theater-like boxes that dominate the composition. Here Dalí played with the disjunctions between reality and the illusion experienced in the darkness of a movie theater. The imagery, realized through a combination of painting and collage, refers to personal and universal dreams and anxieties. Dalí's own disembodied head appears in the middle box, while an allegory of castration anxiety plays out below. Underscoring the experience of motion–picture viewing presented in the painting, this work illustrated the shooting script for Un Chien andalou when it was published in the journal La Révolution surréaliste.

Gallery label from 2015.
Medium
Oil and collage on composition board
Dimensions
9 3/8 x 13 3/4" (23.8 x 34.7 cm)
Credit
The Sidney and Harriet Janis Collection
Object number
584.1967
Copyright
© 2018 Salvador Dalí, Gala-Salvador Dalí Foundation / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Department
Painting and Sculpture

Installation views

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This work is included in the Provenance Research Project, which investigates the ownership history of works in MoMA's collection.

Galerie Goemans, Paris, 1929 [1]; to Louis Aragon (1897-1982), Paris [2]; [Paul Eluard (1895-1952), Paris] [3]; sold to Julien Levy (1906-1981), Paris/New York; sold to Sidney Janis (1896-1989), New York, 1930 [4]; The Museum of Modern Art, New York, 1967 (The Sidney and Harriet Janis Collection).

[1] Included in the exhibition Salvador Dali, Galerie Goemans, Paris, November 20-December 5, 1929.
[2] See Sidney Janis Collection of Modern Paintings, exh. cat. Chicago: The Arts Club of Chicago, April 5-24, 1935, no. 16 (lists Aragon as previous owner); and Interview with Sidney Janis, June 1967, conducted by Helen M. Franc (The Museum of Modern Art Archives): http://www.moma.org/docs/learn/archives/transcript_janis.pdf
[3] See Julien Levy, Memoir of an Art Gallery, New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1977, p. 70, p. 72.
[4] Date of acquisition published in: Sidney and Harriet Janis Collection, exh. cat. Basel: Kunsthalle et al, 1970, no. 11; Three Generations of Twentieth Century Art: The Sidney and Harriet Janis Collection of The Museum of Modern Art, exh. cat. New York: The Museum of Modern Art, 1972, p. 178, no. 12.

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