Arts & Culture

Surrealists Salvador Dalí, Leon Kelly headline at Oglethorpe museum

It’s getting surreal this summer at the Oglethorpe University Museum of Art.

Salvador Dalí, The Divine Comedy, Paradise, Language of the Birds, 1960, wood engraving in color on Rives paper after a watercolor, 9 1/2″ x 7 3/8”

This summer’s exhibitions open May 3 with the Atlanta stop on the national tour of Salvador Dalí’s Stairway to Heaven from the collection of the Park West Museum, paired with ‘Leon Kelly: American Surrealist’, organized by the David David Gallery of Philadelphia.

Salvador Dalí’s Stairway to Heaven presents two fine print portfolios by the artist, his illustrations for the Comte de Lautréamont’s Les Chants de Maldoror and Dante Alighieri’s The Divine Comedy. When Dalí created the first portfolio in the 1930s, he embraced Surrealism with its wildly imaginative dreamscapes. The libidinous lifestyle he and his wife led at this time is also evident in his work of the ’30s. By the time he illustrated Dante’s The Divine Comedy in the 1960s, Dalí had renounced Surrealism and become a born again Catholic. His personal life had shifted dramatically to embrace what he termed a divine or ‘mystical ecstasy’ which is evident in this second, celebrated portfolio.

This exhibition is curated by David S. Rubin and organized by Carole S. Sorell. The presentation of this exhibition is made possible by The Park West Foundation.

“Cascades Of Souls”
Leon Kelly (American 1901-1982)
Signed & Dated lower left & verso
Size 50″ x 40″
Oil on canvas

Leon Kelly (American, 1901-1982) began his artistic studies in Philadelphia and Paris. Despite early financial hardships, the artist excelled, and his work was acquired by major museums such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, and the Whitney Museum. However, the second half of his life was marked by self-imposed isolation with Kelly dying in relative obscurity. Nearly 40 years since Kelly’s death, this exhibition will serve as one of the first retrospectives spanning the artist’s entire career. Leon Kelly, American Surrealist is organized by the David David Gallery of Philadelphia.

Both exhibitions will be on view through August 31, 2019.

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