Vancouver will be ringing in the nation’s 150+ birthday with a momentous honour: the city will be the first-ever Canadian site to play host to one of Salvador Dalí’s most iconic works.
From May 6 to September 31, residents will be able to get an up-close look at the Spanish artist’s Dance of Time I, a seven-foot-tall bronze sculpture of a slowly melting stopwatch, which will be on display in downtown Vancouver.
The $750,000 piece, which was crafted by Dalí in 1984, is on loan from the Stratton Institute, a Swiss-based nonprofit committed to the promotion of arts and culture, and was gifted to the city by Vancouver’s Chali-Rosso Art Gallery. It features the fluid, warped-time imagery seen in many of Dalí’s works.
“One of Dalí’s most symbolic images is the melting clock: it represents time and timelessness,” Susanna Strem, owner and curator of Chali-Rosso Art Gallery, tells the Straight by phone. “We chose to bring this sculpture to Vancouver in order to join Canada’s 150th celebration.”
From May to September, Vancouverites will be able to view Dance of Time I at West Hastings Street and Hornby Street for free. The sculpture will be unveiled during a special ceremony on May 6 at 2 p.m., where representatives from the city will be present.
Dance of Time I is part of a larger project titled Definitely Dalí at the Chali-Rosso Art Gallery, which runs until fall. It features 100 additional works by the surrealist artist, including watercolour paintings, drawings, and lithographs.
Visitors can expect to see some of Dalí’s most famous works, such as Alice in Wonderland, The Elephants, and perhaps his most recognizable, The Persistence of Memory. Twenty smaller sculptures—some of which will be on sale—will also be showcased.
“The artistic force doesn’t start on the canvas, it’s in the creative mind,” explains Strem. “So we wanted to show how prolific Dalí was and how he explored so many mediums.”
Following the unveiling, the public will be invited to Chali-Rosso Art Gallery (549 Howe Street) for a complimentary tour of the Definitely Dalí exhibition. Public donations received at the gallery and on the gallery’s website during this time—and partial proceeds from the gallery’s sales—will be donated to Arts Umbrella, a local nonprofit that offers arts and arts-education programs to Metro Vancouver youth.