Salvador Dalí Exhibit Debuts in Sonoma

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“Flordali I” by Salvador Dalí. Credit to editor W.U.C.U.A. Jean P. Schneider.
  • “Flordali I” by Salvador Dalí. Credit to editor W.U.C.U.A. Jean P. Schneider.

Salvador Dalí is best known for painting surrealist works featuring melting clocks and long-legged elephants, though the multi-faceted and famously mustachioed artist was also a sculptor, filmmaker and wine connoisseur among other talents.

Dalí even wrote a book on the subject of wine, 1977’s The Wines of Gala, an eccentric guide that features California wine as one of the “Ten Divine Wines” of the world. Throughout his life, Dalí connected wine with art and other emotional experiences, and is credited with saying, “A real connoisseur does not drink wine but tastes of its secrets.”

Now, wine and Dalí come together once again as Wine Country becomes the setting for a new exhibit of the iconic artist’s prints and sculptures, presented in collaboration with The Dalí Universe­—one of the largest private collections of Dalí artworks in the world—and SBHG Gallery at Cornerstone Sonoma.

“The Dalí Universe­” exhibit opens Friday, June 26, and runs through August at the Cornerstone Sonoma outdoor marketplace. The showings run 11am to 5pm on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, and curator Bertrand Epaud will be in town through the first week of the exhibit to offer expert insight into the artworks. Individual pieces are also available for private viewings that can be scheduled by appointment Mondays through Thursdays.

“We are honored to house this stunning collection from the undisputed master of Surrealism, Salvador Dalí,” said Karin Rogers, director of business development at the collective Sonoma’s Best Hospitality Group, which runs Cornerstone’s SBHG Gallery. “Dalí’s thought-provoking works feel rather suited to the surreal times in which we are living, and we look forward to sharing these pieces with the Bay Area and our local community.”

The exhibit will display eight of Dalí’s surrealist prints and will include a collection of nine of his bronze sculptures, which are a previously unknown aspect of Dalí’s work. In addition to painting and writing, Dalí was fascinated by the medium of sculpture, and he created original models and designs that were made into surreal objects based on the subjects in his paintings, such as the melting clocks of his painting “The Persistence of Memory,” and the recurring elephants that appear in works such as the painting “Dream Caused by the Flight of a Bee Around a Pomegranate a Second Before Awakening.”
“Triumphant Elephant” Copyright ©IAR Art Resources.
  • “Triumphant Elephant” Copyright ©IAR Art Resources.

For more than 40 years, Beniamino Levi, an Italian art dealer and collector who worked with Dalí during the 1960s, has headed The Dalí Universe collection of art. Fascinated by Dalí’s ability to use different mediums, Levi began collecting Dalí art and sculpture when he opened Galleria Levi in Milan in 1955. The Dalí Universe’s flagship exhibition space is located in Paris, France, though the company tours and loans Dalí artworks to over one hundred prestigious museums and locations worldwide.

Cornerstone Sonoma’s expansive outdoor marketplace includes many independently owned retail shops and wineries, a distillery and a restaurant. The Cornerstone property also includes art-inspired gardens, event venues and the Sunset Gardens & Outdoor Test Kitchen, where gourmet food and wine pairings will be available for purchase and served by Sonoma-based Ramekins Culinary School while the exhibit displays Fridays through Sundays.

Cornerstone Sonoma and the SBHG Gallery will observe strict hygiene and social distancing guidelines in conjunction with Sonoma County’s most current Covid-19 safety measures. Additionally, many of the marketplace's tenant vendors have updated their services and hours during the COVID-19 outbreak and are taking extra precautions to insure the safety of the community.

‘The Dalí Universe’ is on display Fridays–Sundays, Jun 26–August 30, at Cornerstone Sonoma, 23570 Arnold Dr. in Sonoma. 11am to 5pm. Free admission. For more information, visit cornerstonesonoma.com.

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