Modernist Mayhem

Dalí fever: Rare works by surrealist master up for grabs at two Houston events

Dalí fever: Rare works by surrealist master up for grabs in Houston

Off the Wall Gallery Salvadore Dali September 2013 Pierre Argillet and Salvadore Dali walking
Photo of Salvadore Dali and Pierre Argillet walking Photo courtesy of Off the Wall Gallery
Off the Wall Gallery Salvadore Dali September 2013 Burning Giraffe
Salvadore Dali, Burning Giraffe Photo courtesy of Off the Wall Gallery
Salvador Dali authentication report September 2013
Photo courtesy of Art4Life
Off the Wall Gallery Salvador Dali Woman with Guitar 1967 drypoint etching
Salvador Dali, Woman with Guitar, 1967, drypoint etching, about 28 by 38 inches Off the Wall Gallery
Salvador Dali head shot with mustache
Off the Wall Gallery Salvadore Dali September 2013 Pierre Argillet and Salvadore Dali walking
Off the Wall Gallery Salvadore Dali September 2013 Burning Giraffe
Salvador Dali authentication report September 2013
Off the Wall Gallery Salvador Dali Woman with Guitar 1967 drypoint etching
Off the Wall Gallery in the Galleria

Houston is gripped with Salvador Dalí fever this week thanks to not one, but two opportunities to acquire original work by the surrealist master. 

The main event is on view next to Neiman Marcus at the Galleria, where the Off the Wall Gallery presents an array of rare pieces created by the modern master for lifelong friend Pierre Argillet.

 The Houston show offers a rare opportunity for collectors to acquire important-but-lesser-known corners of Dalí's prolific output. 

A noted publisher with intimate ties to surrealism, Argillet became a key player in the Parisian art scene between the World Wars, working closely with 20th-century legends ranging from André Breton and Marcel Duchamp to Max Ernst and Pablo Picasso.

Argillet's friendship with Dalí long outlasted the surrealist heyday and, during the decades that followed, the publisher amassed a prized collection of the artist's prints, a selection of which is on display in the Off the Wall exhibit.

The Houston show offers a rare opportunity for collectors to acquire important-but-lesser-known corners of Dalí's prolific output. Pieces date from the 1930s through the late '60s and include a print series based on the writings of Goethe and Apollinaire. Also featured is a 1969 works-on-paper suite titled Les Hippies, an interpretation of Argillet's photographs taken during a trip to India.

Christine Argillet, the publisher's daughter and curator of the collection, will make a special appearance at the gallery on Saturday evening from 6 to 8 and again on Sunday from 2 to 4 p.m.

Meanwhile, this weekend's Art4Life benefit will auction off a sculpture titled Caring for a Surrealist Watch — a recently-licensed reworking of a 1971 Dalí print of the same name.

While auction organizers remain tight-lipped about the unusual piece, an authentication report (pictured in slideshow above) describes a 16-inch-high bronze work based on a surrealist rendering of Georges de la Tour's 17th-century painting The New Birth.

Click here for a full preview of the 2013 Art4Life silent auction, featuring work from some of the biggest names in Bayou City art. The popular annual event will be held on Saturday from 7 to 10 p.m. at the Architecture Center Houston. All proceeds go directly to AIDS Foundation Houston.

Visit the Off the Wall website for further details on Salvador Dalí: The Pierre Argillet Collection, which remains on view through Oct. 5.