February 19, 2003 - Museum kunstpalast - The Endless Enigma. Dali and the magicians of multiple meaning at museum kunst palast
February 19, 2003

The Endless Enigma. Dali and the magicians of multiple meaning at museum kunst palast

The Endless Enigma: Dali and the magicians of multiple meaning
22/02/2003 - 09/06/2003

Museum Kunst Palast
Ehrenhof 4-5
40479 Düsseldorf Germany
Telefon +49(0)211 – 8 99 62 60
Telefax +49(0)211 – 8 92 95 04


Press conference: February 20, 11 a.m.

image: In Voluptate Mors, 1951. Photo: Philippe Halsman und Salvador
Dalí. Copyright: Halsman Estate. Fundacio Gala-Salvador Dalí / Demart pro
Arte B.V. / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2003

“The Endless Enigma. Dali and the magicians of multiple meaning”

(February 22 – June 9, 2003 / Press conference: February 20, 11

“What connection is there between a painting by Arcimboldo and a
Mongolian miniature of the same period? Why do pictures with a double visual
meaning turn up in widely separated cultures? What is a double image? A
composite, a revolving image, an overlay, a little riddle, a anamorphosis, a
Rorschach test, a false perspective, a pictorial stone or something
anthropomorphic? – In our exhibition, we are trying to create
visual sensations and thus provide answers to these questions” – says
Jean-Hubert Martin, General Director of the museum kunst palast.

Taking its title directly from that of a painting done by Salvador Dali
in the year 1938, the museum kunst palast is presenting “The Endless
Enigma”, an exhibition devoted to the phenomena of ambiguity in art spanning
epochs and continents, and for the first time displaying examples from other
cultural spheres together with works of artists such as Dali.

Roughly 250 select works attest to the many fantastic ways of
artificially playing with human perception, as can be traced throughout all cultures
from the late eleventh century up to today. Thus the exhibition features
not only works by such artists as Guiseppe Arcimboldo, Josse de Momper,
Max Ernst, M.C. Escher, René Magritte, Sigmar Polke, Man Ray, and
André Thomkins, but also unknown works from China, India, Persia and Africa as
well as painted stones (Collection Guilini, Milano), but also the
humorous erotic pictures so popular in Europe around 1900.

One of the foremost proponents of ambiguous art was undoubtedly the
Catalan painter Salvador Dali, and the exhibition features around forty
of his works. Dali brought the double image and picture puzzle to the
highest level of mastery thanks to the paranoid-critical method he himself
developed. A good example of this is his painting “The Endless Enigma,”
that contains as many as seven different levels of perspective.

The method of ambiguity was also taken up in specific works by Man Ray,
M. C. Escher and André Thomkins, which present the observer with various
levels in the image. In the painting “Le Rebus” by Man Ray, for example,
the first glance reveals a shadow figure in the foreground, but
reversing foreground and background discloses various sexual motifs.

The broad spectrum of works on display offers a pleasantly exciting way
to experience art – not only to a professional audience, but also to
anyone and everyone, for these works of art only divulge their “secrets” when
you look closely at them.

Idea and conception of the exhibition:

Jean-Hubert Martin

Curators: Stephan Andreae, Jean-Hubert Martin

Volume of exhibition:

Approx. 250 exhibits: paintings, watercolors, drawings, prints,
sculptures, ceramics, textiles.


Hatje-Cantz Publishers are publishing a profusely illustrated, 250-page
catalogue to the exhibition.

Guided tours:

Choice of English, French or German.

Opening hours:

Tuesday through Sunday 11:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.

We would like to thank E.ON AG, our long-standing partner and the
exclusive sponsor of this exhibition, for their commitment.

Museum kunstpalast
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