Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Dali canvas unveiled as circus backdrop

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MONTREAL -- A massive Salvador Dali painting that hasn't been seen in public since 1944 took centre stage at Place des arts on Monday as it was unveiled as the backdrop for a new circus show.

The giant canvas, which measures about nine metres by 15 metres and filled the back wall of the stage, will be a key part of La Verita, which will be performed in January by the Switzerland-based Company Finzi Pasca.

"It's very exciting," said director Daniele Finzi Pasca as he stood on the Place des arts stage with the visually arresting painting looming behind him.

The stage curtain was originally created by the surrealist master for the ballet Mad Tristan put on by New York's Metropolitan Opera in 1944 and has since resided in a private European art collection.

The painting is pure Dali. One of the figures has a dandelion head. A wheelbarrow sprouts from the other's back like wings.

The sexually ambiguous figures lie on a desolate landscape flanked by red crutches that don't support anything, and a tiny figure sits on a shoulder. Ants scamper from a crack in one body and long shadows play across the scene. One figure robed in blue reaches out for the other with exaggerated hands.

-- The Canadian Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition November 6, 2012 C3

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