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Salvador Dalí Sculpture Auction

An important collection of forty-four first edition sculptures modelled by Salvador Dalí will be offered for sale at Bonhams Impressionist & Modern Art sale in New Bond Street on Thursday 11 December 2008. Dalí created the works in the sunshine of Port Lligat in Spain, where he and his wife Gala spent the summer. The collection was created for the company Diajasa owned by the Clot family, who were close friends with the artist. The collection is estimated at £750,000-1 million.

salvador-dali.jpgMr Clot is on record as saying, “the forty-four works of this collection were all created at the swimming pool. Dalí modelled his wax during the summer when it was hot at Port Lligat. As Dalí’s friend, I could stay at his side chatting non-stop while his hands created the pieces of the collection. For this work as a sculptor, Dalí adopted a ritual: a precise hour of the day outside of his atelier, if possible under the sun. And so each afternoon, past midday, Dalí put down his brush and left the atelier for his swimming pool.”

The heat of the summer sun was necessary to soften, separate and divide the fine band of wax, no more than two centimetres thick by 15 centimetres long. Mr Clot explains, ”Once a few meters of wax were rolled out, it was possible to watch a skilful play of hands, wisely folding instead of true modelling. I was in the presence of a new art of sculpting: “folding“ or Dalínian origami.”

The Clot collection represents Dalí’s three dimensional objects which can only be described as original Salvador Dalí sculptures – made by the artist, by his own hands, from wax casts.

The works are fluid in style which indicates the pleasant atmosphere of freedom in which these sculptures of the Clot Collection were created.

Highlights in the sale include: a jewelled talisman, a silhouette of a flamenco dancer – Carmen aux crotales (Carmen with castanets), the young Dieu Solaire (Sun God), Terpsichore, Muse of Dance – one of the nine daughters of Jupiter and Mnemosyne, an elephant, a horse, a dragon and a mythical lion. Gala, the muse of Dalí lends her face and body to several figures including: Goddess, Apollo, a victorious Angel, the Madonna of Port Lligat and Lady in the Window.

The sculptures were made using the ‘lost wax’ process. Although, suffering from Parkinson disease by then Dalí could still knead and form in this difficult medium. Some of the sculptures also bears marks from moulding with his hands. His remarkable talent, passion and dedication as an artist are conveyed through the works, despite his suffering from ill health at the time. Working in wax in this manner demanded speed. This was because the material itself had to be kneaded into its final form before the quick-cooling wax hardened. The process then involved using the wax sculpture to make a mould for molten bronze to be poured. The wax model was lost in the creation of the mould, which was destroyed when the finished article was removed from it, thus making the finished unique piece.

A first contract between Dalí and Isidro Clot was signed in 1973. Once a sufficient number of pieces had been created, Diejesa, the company belonging to Clot and his son-in-law Andres Campos, produced an initial run of 4 versions of the collection several series of the collection in their original size. One of these collections was presented to the artist and another to the Salvador Dalí Museum in St Petersburg, Florida.

The collection coming up for sale on Thursday 11 December is number one of the edition of four.

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