This exhibition—the first devoted to the Spanish Surrealist at the Art Institute—presents more than 30 paintings, drawings, photos, and surrealist objects, as well as a rich selection of printed matter, books, and artists ephemera to explore this critical period, considering Dalí’s work in light of two defining, if contradictory, impulses: an immense desire for visibility and the urge to disappear.
How to Visit the Dalí Exhibition
Learn tips on getting your tickets in advance, joining the exhibition’s virtual line, and visiting during less busy times.
The artist cultivated these notions in a variety of ways: in path-breaking experiments with materials and palette, in depictions of exotic and mundane edible items, in surrealist fashions and sculptures with spaces for hiding, and in optically dynamic visual illusions or “double images.”
Examining this series of “disappearing acts” undertaken by the artist at the height of his fame, the exhibition brings together icons of the Art Institute’s Surrealism collection—such as Inventions of the Monsters (1937), Venus de Milo with Drawers (1936), and Mae West’s Face Which May be Used as a Surrealist Apartment (1934–35)—alongside celebrated loans from around the world. New technical analysis illuminates further hidden and disappearing imagery within Dalí’s works that offer veiled personal meditations on his wry, sophisticated, and ultimately paranoid approach to art making.
Works from the Art Institute’s Collection
The exhibition is curated by Caitlin Haskell, Gary C. and Frances Comer Curator, Modern and Contemporary Art, and Director, Ray Johnson Collection and Research, and Jennifer Cohen, curator of provenance and research, Director’s Office.
Major support for Salvador Dalí: The Image Disappears is provided by The Donnelly Family Foundation and Natasha Henner and Bala Ragothaman.
This exhibition is supported by an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities.