Reprinted from Chron.com
Art enthusiasts will be able to see a one of a kind collection of Salvador Dali’s work at Off The Wall Gallery in the Galleria starting Sept. 1 through Sept. 14.
Salvador Dali: The Argillet Collection features work that was owned by Pierre Argillet, Dali’s publisher and close friend, now passed on to his daughter, Christine Argillet.
Visitors to the gallery will have a chance to meet Christine Argillet during two special appearances on Saturday, Sept. 9 from 6 to 8 p.m. and Sunday, Sept. 10 from 2 to 4 p.m.
The work that will be seen as a part of the Argillet Collection includes drawings, copper plate etches and tapestries.
“The collection that will be shown was passed on to me by my father. The fact that we have publications – sometimes we have 100 of one piece, 50 of another – it has allowed us to part with some elements of the collection and to share it. In our view, it is important to share the collection. I feel very happy when it is seen by other people,” Argillet said.
Argillet continued, ” An interesting part of the collection is that a lot of the tapestries are being shown for the first time. This is a big part of the show.”
Ironically, according to Argillet, Dali hated the tapestries and thought they were gaudy.
Argillet’s father Pierre first met Dali before World War II, when he was starting his publishing house. Pierre initially worked with many artists, but eventually worked only with Dali.
“My father really had a big admiration for Dali’s work, not only on the craft side, but the imagination. They were quite close,” Argillet said. “Dali would recognize my father as someone who really loved his work. There was a very strong confidence in each other and they knew they would rely on each other. Dali was very joyful. It is the reason why my father only worked with him.”
Dali is known for being a surrealist artist. According to Argillet, the surrealist movement, which was both literary and art based, took place after World War I.
“[During the war] Millions of young people would die. There was a need from the people to escape the absurdity. People wanted to be happy and create a new world. Between the two world wars there was an extreme sense of freedom and the dream,” Argillet explained.
Argillet noted that Dali was simple in his daily life, had a sense of humor, and was also able to do many things at once. Argillet remembered a time when she was a child when Dali was hosting a crowd of the media in his room, and her father pleaded with him to finish one or two more plates before he was set to go to New York. Dali would take the plate, but he would still keep talking to the media.
“Yet he would be able to produce this amazing work,” Argillet said. “My father would always have copper plates in hand and would always ask Dali to consider etching a series of plates on a topic. Sometimes Dali would be very inspired and sometimes he would lose his way and you just had to accept it. My father wasn’t patient in normal life but he was patient with Dali.”
Argillet continued, “I remember myself being fascinating by Dali’s paintings and his imagination. These things talk even to a child. I would see him do sculptures and drawing and it was like magic coming out of his hand.”
“Dali’s etching was done in a way where he took a stylus and once it went down on the plate he never lifted it off until he was done with the entire drawing. He was a genius. To know what he had in his mind – he had a real intensity,” Mimi Sperber, owner of Off The Wall Gallery said.
Sperber notes that she has multiple favorites of Dali’s work, including Flower Women With Soft Piano, a drypoint etching from 1969, and the handwoven Argus Tapestry from 1972 to 1973.
“It is hard to pick a favorite. Every time you see them you begin to see something else in them so it doesn’t get easier over time,” Sperber said.
According to Argillet, Dali worked with many different mediums, including both two and three dimensions, and she believes that is why so many other artists look up to him.
“People like Andy Warhol have said that without Dali they wouldn’t have become the artist they have become. Dali would value all kinds of arts. He loved to work in different directions that would all compliment his other work. I think his openness is an incredible legacy,” Argillet said.
Sperber said about the exhibit, “I hope that people in Houston will get to see something they would ordinarily have to go see in a museum in Europe. They can come in and see many different kinds of art and it is free to the public.”
The exhibition and Argillet’s special appearances are complimentary to the public, and RSVP’s are required at 713-871-0940 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Off The Wall Gallery is located at 5015 Westheimer Rd, Houston. Visit www.offthewallgallery.com for more information.