BBC: Cath Pound

Gala has long been considered equal part muse and monster. It was said in Surrealist circles that if an artist had produced good work then they must have been in love with her. Married first to the poet Paul Éluard, her lovers included Max Ernst before she met and fell in love with Salvador Dalí with whom she was to spend the rest of her life. But her formidable personality riled other members of the group. André Breton despised her, and Luis Buñuel apparently loathed her so much that he once tried to strangle her.

As Dalí’s success intensified, Gala became known as a megalomaniac mistress of hype, obsessed with money and a string of young gigolos. Although there is undoubtedly some truth in this, an exhibition at the Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya (MNAC) in Barcelona is attempting to show that the salacious stories which have followed her have tended to obscure the fact that she was an innovative creator in her own right. Much more than a muse, it suggests she was in fact a conceptual artist and performer ahead of her time who played a vital role in the creation of Dalí’s creative project. …Read More

Image: Gala with Elsa Schiaparelli’s shoe-hat, inspired by a Salvador Dalí design, 1938 (Credit: Fundació Gala-Salvador Dalí, Figueres, 2018)