Prague’s Central Gallery takes visitors to Salvador Dalí's wonderland

GOAP has changed its name to Central Gallery and is modernizing its permanent exhibitions

Raymond Johnston

Written by Raymond Johnston
Published on 10.09.2020 12:30 (updated on 10.09.2020)

The exhibition of works by Salvador Dalí at Central Gallery in Prague’s Old Town Square has been completely reconfigured to show the works in a more coherent and engaging manner. The selection of works has been changed and now includes a film.

The new layout, with a darkened room of sculptures, a dedicated space for The Divine Comedy, area for food-themed prints and objects, cinema, and other specific spaces draws viewers into the eccentric world of the famous Spanish surrealist..

dali divine comedy
the Divine Comedy by Dalí / via Raymond Johnston

Quotes from Dalí are on the walls and sometimes the floor in English and Czech. “Each morning when I awake, I experience again a supreme pleasure — that of being Salvador Dalí,” appears in gold letters over one of the doorways

“Dalí is more like Alice in the Wonderland than a man of our reality. Through various scenes created in the exhibition, we return the visitor to the role of observer, draw them into the action and evoke different feelings to create their own image of an adored artists or a ridiculous prankster,” Central Gallery curator Helena Kočíková said.

dali sculptures
Sculptures by Dalí / via Central Gallery, Johana Němečková

The bronze sculptures include the famous Alice in Wonderland, Celestial Elephant, Cosmic Rhinoceros, Rhinoceros Dressed in Lace and Venus a la Giraffe. A bronze bust of Dalí by Josef Nálepa is also in the sculpture room.

Among the 200 graphics are The Persistence of Memory, featuring the melting clocks, as well as The Birth of Venus, showing his obsession with eggs, and the optical illusion Lincoln in Dalívision.

dali diner
Food related works by Dalí / via Raymond Johnston

The complete 1929 surrealist film An Andalusian Dog (Un Chien Andalou), which he co-wrote with director Luis Buñuel, is screened on a loop is small cinema room. The film divided audiences on its release, with equal measures of praise and calls for it to be banned.

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There was also a commercial side to his work. Dalí didn’t hesitate to admit in person in an advertisement that he was crazy about Lavin chocolate. He is also the author of the logo for Chupa Chups lollipops. His iconic perfume bottles with lips and a nose occupy a shelf.

dali sculpture
Sculpture of Dalí by Josef Nálepa / via Raymond Johnston

One wall is taken up by a large black-and white photo of Dalí by Czech photographer Václav Chochola, with a red lipped shaped seat in front of it. Other photos by the same photographer are also included.

Central Gallery was known as GOAP for almost 10 years, but earlier in 2020 it changed its name to Central Gallery. It has three permanent exhibits, with floors in the historical building dedicated to Dalí, Warhol and Mucha. The permanent exhibitions are all gradually being transformed to bring them up to modern gallery standards. The name change also comes with a new visual identity for the gallery.

For more information on Central Galley visit the website or Facebook page.