AS I embarked on my journey both to curate and to present my father’s collection, I was asked to remark as to the “overall message I would wish to convey” through my presentation. I interpreted this question as the interviewer seeking a definition…..could I define that moment…that feeling…that responsibility of being truly the only direct archive to the fifty year long collaborative efforts of Salvador Dali and Pierre Argillet?
My answer came to me quite quickly, and without hesitation
This presentation of DALI: The Argillet Collection is a tribute to the work of my father, Pierre Argillet, as an extraordinary publisher of the Dada and Surrealist group. This collection reflects a constant endeavor, a very personal archive of not only Dali’s finest etchings and tapestries, but an intimate glimpse into my family’s personal and cherished photos, films, anecdotes and memories of life with Dali and Gala.
This exhibition truly is an intimate collaboration of my family’s with the most fascinating Artist of the Surrealist Movement. It is with honor and humility that we, the Argillet family, are able to present to you this extraordinary assemblage of Dali’s works.
My father began as a journalist with a true passion for Surrealism. His relationship with Dali was as sincere as it was passionate. They had together long discussions on the art in process and on literary topics that Dali would then illustrate. Dali was a man who saw the world as one in which everything was linked. That view of the world is evident in each and every piece of his art, for him it was never a progression of the idea that all things have a shared link…it was the common denominator…Dali’s philosophy…if you will.
I observed and came to recognize this world view of Dali’s from childhood. I see this theme in all of my family’s Collection, and we speak of it often.
This special relationship between me, my family and Dali, and the bond of my father and Dali, created this very unique Collection known as Dali: The Argillet Collection. It has defined my work, my journey from childhood to maturity, and my family history. Friendship and complicity, as life would dictate.
The Argillet family also acknowledges with gratitude the professionalism and extraordinary efforts of Nim Vaswani and the Road Show Company as presenters of this Collection. They truly are the industry standard in their category of traveling Art Exhibitors and have embraced myself, my family, and my heartfelt efforts with this project. They have seen it quite as I do; a labor of love and a tribute to two men whose contributions and dedication to their Art shall live on forever.
Madame Argillet is both the Curator of this Dali Collection, as well as the daughter of the famed Pierre Argillet, Salvador Dali’s publisher and confidante for over fifty years. Her story is unparalled, and as compelling as any I have encountered in terms of artistic knowledge and family history with regard to Dadaism….the Surrealists..and the stories behind the artists who shaped these most important Art Movements. What a gift it is for Ms. Argillet to be the face of this Collection.
Madame Argillet describes this exhibition as “A tribute to the work of my father, Pierre Argillet, as an extraordinary publisher of the Dada and Surrealist group. This collection reflects a constant endeavor and a close collaboration with the artists of these two movements, especially Salvador Dali. My goal is to have this collection presented in the finest museums and galleries in the world”.
Pierre Argillet’s body of Dali’s etchings, original works and books appear in museums throughout the world, and have enjoyed a home at the Museum of Surrealism in Melun, France (Pierre Argillet’s former home “Chateau Vaux-le-Penil” and former museum) as well as in the Dali Museum in St. Petersburg, Florida. The collection is also housed at the prestigious Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA). Together, Argillet & Dali created remarkable editions of original prints, lived the true “Surrealists” life, and developed images that are prized by collectors today.
“This presentation is a tribute to the work of my father, Pierre Argillet, as an extraordinary publisher of the Dada and Surrealist group. This collection reflects a constant endeavor and a close collaboration with the artists of these two movements, especially Salvador Dali. My goal is to have this collection presented in the finest galleries and museums throughout the world”.
“My father began as a journalist with a true passion for Surrealism. His relationship with the artists was sincere…and passionate. They had together long discussions on the art in process and on literary topics that the artist would illustrate. This special relationship created this very unique collection”.
When asked..”What adjective best describes the relationship between Pierre Argillet and Dali?” Madame Argillet responds; “Friendship…and complicity”.
When asked…”Why is Salvador Dali as a human being so close to your heart..and how has this collection defined your life..growing up..and now as a grown woman?” Madame Argillet responds; “Well…Salvador Dali was, in private..a very shy man..simple in his daily life..and a true workaholic. He was always experimenting with new techniques, considering things with another angle of perception. He would listen as well to peasant people as to scientists and persons of fame and fortune. His openness has always struck me!”