With 710 illustrations and exclusive documentation for each image, Nicolas and Robert Descharnes, the worldwide recognized experts in Dalí’s oeuvre, celebrate the artist’s centenary with the most complete study ever assembled of the master’s three dimensional work.  With special attention accorded to Dalí’s bronze works, “Dalí, The Hard and the Soft” is much more than a catalogue raisonné: it is the untold story of Dalí and space. 

While studies of Salvador Dalí’s paintings and graphics are widely available to the public in numerous works, his sculptures and objects have never been assembled in a single volume specifically dedicated to this aspect of the artist’s oeuvre.  However with the publication of Dalí: The Hard and the Soft, Sculptures and Objects (Eccart, 2004), the reading public and participants in the art market finally have the ultimate reference work on Dalí, the sculptor.

It is an art book enriched with research and descriptions, with 296 pages and 710 illustrations presented in chronological order that show the different periods in the three dimensional creation of the surrealist master.  The iconographic documents are drawn in almost their entirety from the Descharnes & Descharnes Photographic Archive and never before published informations from the personal archives of Robert Descharnes, the close personal friend and photographer of the artist.

The book’s authors are the uncontested international experts in Salvador Dalí’s oeuvre: “We publish a reference book on Dalí every ten years, for this reason among others, this book was eagerly awaited by participants in the international art market,” says Robert Descharnes.  Among the fifteen works published by Dalí’s closest collaborator, two are considered the best ever written on Dalí’s works: Dalí, The Paintings, with Gilles Neret (1700 illustrations, Benedikt Taschen, Cologne 1993) and Dalí, The Work, The Man (700 illustrations, crowned by the Fine Arts Academy of the Institut de France.  Published by H. Abrams, New York, 1984)

According to one of the authors, Nicolas Descharnes, who was responsible for the editorial concept and graphic layout, “the essence of Dalí, The Hard and The Soft is captured in the snapshot of the over: Dalí holds with one hand a stone fish -- hard -- and with the other a fleshy dolphin, soft; Dalí posing between inertia and the living, the dry and the humid, immobility and movement, between the eternal and the transient.  Beyond sculpture, momentary objects and architectural projects, this book tells the story of Dalí and space.” 

The Three Dimensional Work . . . 

Consistently throughout his life, Salvador Dalí sculpted, modeled and transformed works into three dimensions.  All the same, they are not the works of a traditional sculptor with a single scheme.  Certain sculptures are linked to a precise event (The Academician’s Sword); others are a philosophical metaphor (The Malebranche Fish) or the application of a scientific discovery (The Pastor and the Siren).  Still others are surrealist arrangements (Surrealist Object by Dalí and Gala) or diversions of celebrated works (The Venus de Milo with Drawers). 

This new work by the Descharnes show that some of Dalí’s objects were born through a technical “accident,” a recovery, a recycling (Hysterical Venus).  Works and ephemeral compositions had a role in this production and we have not neglected them, because they highlight certain essential aspects of Dalí’s methods in his work.  Humor is also one of his trademarks for a number of objects that should not be neglected such as the Aphrodisiacal Jacket or the Lobster-Telephone, “but in fact it was only the lead-in to a perfectly logical treatise, resulting from either a poetic idea or a scientific essay,” says Nicolas Descharnes.

The book describes the unknown origin of these sculptures and groups the objects in three categories: the first starts with the years of apprenticeship, followed by the surrealist years and the first American period; the second recounts the meeting between The Lacemaker of Vermeer and Dürer’s The Rhinoceros and takes the reader into Dalí’s laboratory-house of Port Lligat.  The third part is marked by monumental projects (Plaza Dalí in Madrid), and creation of the Teatro-Museo of Figueres.

The book, which intially appeared last January in French is an open reflection on Dalí’s vast concept of “the Hard and the Soft” just as the cover photo  conveys . . .

 The Authors  

Robert and Nicolas Descharnes are the recognized international experts in the life and work of Salvador Dalí, regularly consulted by museums, collectors and auction houses around the globe, like Christie’s and Sotheby’s.  With more than 15 works published on the work and life of the master and more than 60,000 photographic images gathered over forty years of association into a special “photothèque”, these two authors and their photographic archive are the living memory of the incredible creative force of Dalí. 
Translated by Christopher Jones: "It was a great honor when Nicolas and Robert Descharnes asked me to translate Dalí, le dur et le Mou into English.  Their book, the Hard and the Soft  is much more than the most complete reference book ever produced on Dalí’s sculptures – it penetrates Dalí’s mystical world of Port Lligat and recounts the fantistic story of the last « Renaissance Man » through the personal reminiscences of his closest friend, Robert Descharnes. It is wonderful read." Christopher Jones is also contributing editor to the European Encyclopedia (Scribner’s and Sons).

 From the same author:

 Dalí de Gala, avec Salvador Dalí (Edita, Lausanne 1962)

In English “The World of Salvador Dalí” translated by M. Haakon Chevalier

Les Métamorphoses érotiques, avec Salvador Dalí, Editions Trois continents, Lausanne 1969

Dix Recettes d’Immortalité, avec Salvador Dalí, Editions Audouin-Descharnes, Paris 1973

In English, “The Ten Recipes of Immortality” translated by M. Haakon Chevalier

Cinquante Secrets magiques, avec Salvador Dalí Edita, Lausanne 1974

In English “50 Secrets of Magical Craftsmanship”

Dalí, l’oeuvre et l’homme, Edita, Lausanne 1984

In English, “Dalí The Man, The Work,” H. Abrams, 1984  Translated by Eleanor Reese Morse

Dalí, l’oeuvre peint, avec Gilles Néret, Benedikt Taschen, Cologne 1993

In English, “Dalí, The Paintings”

Dalí, Edita, Lausanne 1993

Dalí, l’héritage infernal, avec Me Jean-François Marchi, Ramsay/La Marge, 2002

Dalí, la herencia infernal, La Marge, 2003 en vente sur le site

Dalí, The Hard and the Soft, Sculptures & Objets

296 pages, 710 reproductions

240 x 315 mm –soft cover

EUR 79,00 – for sale on the website

 Informations :+33 (0)2 47 45 24 45