A dalliance with time

The two-metre sculpture, Dance of Time I, by Spanish artist Salvador Dali is on display at Hastings and Hornby Streets from May to September 2017. The sculpture’s installation was made possible by the Chali-Rosso Art Gallery at 549 Howe St. to help commemorate Canada’s 150th anniversary and perhaps encourage the public to reflect on Canada’s time and place in history.

The gallery owner, Susanna Strem, believes in the accessibility of public art and feels it should not just be restricted to a gallery. At the same time, the Chali-Rosso Art Gallery wants to make the public feel welcome to come into its space and not feel intimidated. Questions and comments are encouraged. Even Strem’s descriptions of the art pieces follow her philosophy of making art accessible. Rather than using the incomprehensible prose we frequently see to describe art pieces, Strem uses language the public can more easily relate to:

On Dance of Time I:

“The melted watch is the most well-known and beloved of Dalí’s iconoclastic images – the artist chose to portray this image consistently throughout his lifetime, beginning in 1932. The ever-present fluidity of time is represented in this sculpture as time not only moving, but dancing in rhythm to the beat of the universe. Universal time knows no limits; it must be remembered that time, as we understand it, is a human notion. Instead, Dalínian time is perpetual and ‘dances on’ stopping for no man, history or even the cosmos.”

As we ponder Dance of Time I, maybe it’s 12:30, but in what fluid place in time and space.

At the Challo-Rossi Gallery, we can view 100 additional pieces of Dali’s work including 20 smaller sculptures as well works by Picasso, Chagall, Miro and Matisse.

Salvadore Dali was an iconic surrealist of the 20th century (1904–1989). He was a brilliant and prolific artist who worked not only in sculpture but painting, theatre, film, fashion, photography, architecture, literary works, graphic arts and had a vibrant interest in science and mathematics. Dali was great at doing his own publicity, especially through performance art. Apparently Andy Warhol was dumbfounded when first introduced to some of his performance antics.

Dali led a colourful, eccentric and controversial life but in the process, he made modern art popular and accessible.