Modern Art Monday Presents: Salvador Dali, Retrospective Bust of a Woman

retrospective bust of a woman by gail worley
All Photos By Gail

The idea for this work began when Salvador Dalí discovered an inkwell illustrated with the praying couple (from Jean-Francois Millet’s painting The Angelus, 185759). He embedded the inkwell in a loaf of bread and placed them both on the portrait bust of a woman.

retrospective bust of a woman detail by gail worley

In 1931, Dalí described Surrealist sculpture as “created wholly for the purpose of materializing in a fetishistic way, with maximum tangible reality, ideas and fantasies of a delirious character.” Retrospective Bust of a Woman (1933) not only presents a woman as an object, but explicitly as one to be consumed. A baguette crowns her head, cobs of corn dangle around her neck, and ants swarm along her forehead as if gathering crumbs. Ants, of course, are a common reoccurring motif in Dali’s work.

retrospective bust of a woman side view photo by gail worley

Photographed in the Museum of Modern Art in NYC.

retrospective bust of a woman detail photo by gail
Detail

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