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Salvador Dalí is not just any artist; he is a true cultural icon. His surrealist art inspires generations of creative minds, from Monty Python to Damien Hirst. Though best known for his surreal paintings, Dalí is also a master sculptor, film auteur and photographer. With such a bewildering creative output, it is difficult to fully comprehend his impact on art and culture. Dalí – the Exhibition museum at Potsdamer Platz in Berlin is the best place to do just that. The museum has a total collection of around 2000 works by the artist, drawn from private collections around the world. These Dalí originals include his paintings, sketches, etchings, wood carvings, sculptures, texts and even film scenes. This Berlin museum is the place where you can get to know more about the fantastical dream-world of Dalí and his genius.
“Surrealism for all” - the origins of Dalí - the Exhibition
Situated in the heart of Berlin, Dalí – the Exhibition is a must-see. In 2001, the collection on display permiers at Schwetzingen Palace, near Heidelberg. The collection tours extensively across Germany, bringing surrealism to the masses, just as Dalí envisions it would. The museum in Potsdamer Platz has been a permanent home to the collection ever since 2009. A significant year, since it's the 20th anniversary of the Dalí's death. It is also the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. Dalí’s art has always been about tearing down walls. This can be seen across the 400-plus exhibits that are on display. The "Surrealist Angel" is a stunning sculpture in which Dalí as the "God of Surrealism" brings down to people on Earth the "Gospel of Surrealism." Discover Dalí's first ever lithograph "Don Quixote", a work that pioneers the famous technique of “bulletism”. Dalí shoots real live bullets from arquebuses (antique guns/muskets) into large blocks of stones to create this artwork. Witness his sketches of Dante's" Divine Comedy", a work originally commissioned by the Italian government to mark the 700th anniversary of the birth of the poet. Encounter "The Apocalypse of St. John", a Dalí masterpiece that gets the blessing of the Pope himself. To create it, Dalí splatters nails into etching plates using improvised bombs, and then splatters an actual sewing machine using a steam roller. Dalí is also a maestro at drafting or technical drawing. You can see his skill highlighted brilliantly in the "Tristan and Isolde" series of sketches. The entire series, which uses his stunning dry point etching technique is on display at the museum. The exhibition is arranged according to various creative periods, across two levels. You'll even find a cinema corner, where examples of his film work are shown.
Highlights of Dalí - the Exhibition
- Dalí's first lithographic work: "Don Quixote"
- the entire series of "Tristan and Isolde" sketches
- the cycle of Dante's "Divine Comedy"
- the sculpture "Surrealist Angel"
- illustrations from his life in twelve works titled "After 50 Years of Surrealism"
More art around Potsdamer Platz
You'll find many other great places to view art nearby to Dalí - the Exhibition. The Daimler Art Collection is in the listed Haus Huth, north-west of Tilla-Durieux-Park. It features work from around 600 artists, covering various styles from the 20th century, with a focus on abstract art. The Martin Gropius Bau is 10 minutes away from Dalí – The Exhibition. It hosts frequently changing exhibitions on contemporary art and art history, and boasts an attractive mosaic-lined entrance hall in the Renaissance style. The Kulturforum, on Matthäikirchplatz, is also nearby. Here you'll find the Kunstgewerbemuseum, which is dedicated to European arts and crafts. Come here to admire commercial design, fashion and Tiffany vases. The Gemäldegalerie is also in the Kulturforum. It presents works by European masters such as Rembrandt, Dürer and Rubens. The BERLINARTPROJECTS gallery on Potsdamer Platz presents exhibitions curated by young artists and graduates making their way into the art scene. Expect paintings, sculptures, photography and installations across roughly six shows annually. Amongst the many independent galleries in the area, Galerie Thomas Fischer is a highlight. All media are represented here, including video art.
Tips for your visit
You can reach the museum easily via S-Bahn lines S1, S2, S25 and the U2 underground line, alighting at Potsdamer Platz station. From here, it is a mere 200-metre walk to the museum on Leipziger Platz. With a Berlin WelcomeCard, you receive a 25% discount on the entrance fee. If you are new to Dalí's art, you can seek the help of “Dalí Scouts”, located throughout the exhibition. Guided tours are available on an almost hourly basis. Group tours can be booked in advance.