GUEST CURATOR SHINES WITH DALI SHOW
It was a lovely evening in Guanajuato, Mexico. I accompanied Enrique Zepeda to the exhibition he guest curated at El Museo Iconografico del Quijote. He drove up from Mexico City and picked me up in San Miguel de Allende, where we have a second house, and we had an enjoyable drive over to Guanajuato, the city of downtown tunnels that suddenly pop up in one part of the city or another.
Enriqie, with whom I am forming Ewell and Zepeda Dali Authentication Services (working title), has been developing his expertise and scholarship on all things related to the life and art of Salvador Dali since he was a diplomat at the Mexican Embassy in Madrid. He has become a significant collector and, through this show of a part of his collection, has demonstrated to the museum world that he is an excellent example of Collector as Expert.
El Museo Iconografico del Quijote is an entire institution devoted to exhibiting images of Don Quixote by a vast number of international artists. Enrique’s contribution was to develop and mount an exhibition of the illustrations for the book by Miguel de Cervantes that were created through the years by Salvador Dali, starting with La Nova Revista in 1927. The signage is quite good in identifying and explaining each display and is a fine addition to the permanent collections which have only a couple of Dali’s Don Quixote prints.
Unfortunately, this is the only venue for Enrique’s exhibition, which is titled Representationes Iconograficas de Don Quijote por Salvador Dali. It should travel to at least a dozen other museums, including The Salvador Dali Museum in St. Petersburg, Florida and the Fundacio Gala-Salvador Dali in Figueres, Spain. Perhaps Enrique will have opportunities to recreate it. Most viewers, however, will not have the advantage of a personal tour with the guest curator’s insightful comments, explanations and comparisons.
The same evening we were among the guests at the opening of a most entertaining exhibition at the same museum by internationally-lauded Mexican surrealist Pedro Friedeberg. Again it was grand to have the opportunity to discuss the work with Enrique. I can tell so much about other art experts by looking at art with them and I always learn from the experience. Sometimes I even remember that I never learn by listening to myself. I always benefit from listening to Enrique and we have been able to visit several museums together. Many more await us.
So how is it that there is a museum in Guanajuato, Mexico devoted entirely to images of Don Quixote? The answer to that will be found in my forthcoming book ARTFUL DODGERS: Fraud and Foolishness in the Art Market which is currently scheduled for release in January. I held it back pending the outcome of a harassment lawsuit that has now been settled in a most acceptable manner.