BAM ARCHIVES ( 2015 -  )



March 7 - April 11, 2019

The exhibition, curated by David S. Rubin, presented a comparative study of two of Dalí’s most celebrated portfolios, his book illustrations for the Comte de Lautréamont's Les Chants de Maldoror (1868-69) and Dante Alighieri's The Divine Comedy (c. 1308-20).

Les Chants de Maldoror (The Songs of Maldoror) was a favorite literary work among the Surrealists, many of whom found beauty in art and literature devoted to the pursuit of the irrational and the unorthodox. A poetic novel of sorts that unfolds in a non-linear fashion, Les Chants de Maldoror describes the violent and perverse character of a despicable protagonist who has renounced God, humanity and conventional morality.

Dante's The Divine Comedy is considered to be one of the most important works in the history of Italian literature.  Although it too is a poetic narrative, The Divine Comedy is told sequentially, taking its readers along with Dante on a journey through Hell (Inferno), Purgatory and Paradise. Allegorically, it is often interpreted as representing the trajectory of the soul towards God.

The exhibition, on loan from the collection of the Park West Museum, was organized by Carole Sorell Incorporated, and presented with generous support from the Park West Foundation.