The Image Disappears

The Salvador Dali Exhibit Experience


Photo credit: Annabel McIntosh

“Apparition of Face and Fruit Dish on a Beach, 1938” by Salvador Dali

We all know the artist with a mustache, Salvador Dali. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the surrealist artist, Dali is renowned for his technical mastery, flawless figure drawing, and the distinctive and unique metaphors and motifs he creates. He is well known for his paintings with melting clocks and his bizarre personality. 

The Art Institute of Chicago recently opened an exhibit of his work, titled ‘The Image Disappears’ that includes thirty paintings, sculptures, drawings, and collages which will be showcased until June 2nd. This exhibit is free to the public, and if you are under eighteen and a resident of Chicago, entry to the Art Institute is also free. Just remember to buy tickets ahead of time because slots fill up quickly. If you buy tickets, you can go anytime between eleven to five, and the ticketing process was easy because they could download to your phone straight to the wallet app. 

After having some trouble finding the exhibit and waiting in line for about fifteen minutes, I was immersed into the work of Dali. Although each piece displayed was grand in size, the collective exhibition was diminutive in comparison. The collection featured tightly curated pieces of work that fitted into one intimate gallery of the Art Institute. We walked through the exhibit in a line, and the abstract nature of the body of works elicited provocative thoughts from the audience. I didn’t even have to follow the signs to the secluded area of the exhibition because it was all distinctly Dali. It is safe to say that my experience at the Dali exhibit was surreal. 

The Dali enthusiasts varied between Chicagoans and tourists. Since I went on a Sunday afternoon, the Art Institute was crowded, but the organization of the museum helped to shuffle people through. It was much smaller than I expected, and the gallery was small and personal. The space was easy to walk through, and you end with the most famous piece in the collection, ‘Apparition of Face and Fruit Dish on a Beach,’ which took my breath away. The piece was by far my favorite because it evoked overstimulation and emotion. Along with witnessing his work in person, you also learn quite a bit about his life and how his work got to be as well-known as it is now. 

Going to the Dali exhibit is an experience. You are touched by his weirdness, his expert technique, his abstract nature which has stood the test of time and has still provoked people around the world. Visually, intellectually, theoretically, and otherwise. I would suggest going to this exhibit for a Chicago citizen or a Chicago visitor. It started off as something I intended to do on a lazy Sunday and evolved into a special and memorable experience. Thank you Dali for letting me experience the bizarre corners of your mind. If you have time to go, it is definitely worth the trip.