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(b Figueras, Catalonia, 11 May 1904; d Figueras, 23 Jan. 1989). Spanish painter, sculptor, graphic artist, designer, film-maker, and writer. After working in a variety of styles, influenced by Cubism, Futurism, and Metaphysical Painting, he had turned to Surrealism by 1929. In that year he had a sell-out exhibition in Paris; André Breton wrote the catalogue preface, and this marked Dalí's official membership of the movement. His talent for self-publicity rapidly made him its most famous representative—its symbol in the mind of the general public. Throughout his life he cultivated eccentricity and exhibitionism, claiming that this was the source of his creative energy (one of his most outrageous stunts was delivering a lecture at the London International Surrealist Exhibition in 1936 dressed in a diving suit (to show he was plunging into the depths of the human mind); he almost suffocated).

Text source: The Oxford Dictionary of Art and Artists (Oxford University Press)

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