©Salvador Dali - Twist in the Studio of Velazquez 1962

Twist in the Studio of Velazquez 1962
Twist in the Studio of Velazquez
1962 44x57cm oil/canvas
Private collection

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From Christie's:
Painted in 1962, Twist dans le studio de Velázquez illustrates Salvador Dalí's ability to absorb elements of both pop culture and art history into the hallucinatory logic of his universe. While on the left of the painting Dalí paid homage to Velázquez, copying his Retrato del Cardinal-Infante Fernando de Austria in the Museo del Prado in Madrid, the centre of the composition is dedicated to a 1960s social phenomenon: the Twist. A group of animated figures, apparently constructed of accordion-like folded cards, is captured in a frenzy of angular, pivoting movements, disrupting the solemn naturalism of the background picture with their maniac, unfolding dance.
A series of pencil drawings document Dalí's efforts in deconstructing the body movements into flat, schematic planes, showing how the popular dance had stimulated the artist's mind to seed new, unexpected images. Twist dans le studio de Velázquez also relates to another version of the painting executed during the same year. In that work, Dalí placed the dancing cards in the middle of a room; on the left wall hangs Velázquez's Retrato del Cardinal-Infante Fernando de Austria, while on the right wall a detail of Las Meninas is shown. Combining two estranged elements and further developing Dalí's obsession with high and low culture motifs, Twist dans le studio de Velázquez is an example of the artist's 'paranoiac-critical method', through which the artist consciously looked at the world around him for the signs of his own unconscious compulsions, channelling them into his unique hallucinatory images.