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Agnostic Symbol

Salvador Dalí (Spanish, 1904–1989)

A spoon emerges from a cracked wall in the background, crosses the space of the picture, detours around a rock half-buried in the ground, and presents a tiny gold pocket watch in its hollow bowl. The vast enormity of this landscape intensifies the disturbing effects of the snaking, distended spoon and the pocket watch miniaturized to the limit of visibility. Agnostic Symbol demonstrates how Salvador Dalí used a clear, precise, and legible style while also turning away from ordinary reality, and toward hallucination and irrationality—an approach that aligned him with the Surrealist group in Paris in the early 1930s. Spoons and timepieces recurred in Dalí’s work, but their significance here remains perplexing. The title of this work also eludes interpretation; one might read agnostic in the sense of that which is not knowable.

Object Details

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