Dalí expert and author of Dalí’s only catalogue raisonné of sculptures: The Hard and the Soft, Sculptures and Objects
Friend and collaborator of the artist who is considered by all the International Art dealers as the highest authority on Dalí works. Mr. Descharnes personally witnessed Dalí creating many sculptures.
Robert Descharnes is known for his work as an avant-garde film maker.
In 1950 he was introduced to Salvador Dalí and Gala by George Mathieu on a transatlantic liner on the way back from New York. Since that meeting, their paths were never really separated since they became permanent collaborators. In 1954 they worked together on the film “L’aventure prodigieuse de la dentellière et du rhinocéros” based on Dalí’s theories. He also collaborated with him on many publications and projects on and by Dalí.
By 1980 Dalí’s work was more and more threatened by the flood of replicas and forgeries. Mr. Descharnes was appointed by Dalí to become head of his firm Demart in order to clean up the market. He stayed until his retirement in 2004.
He also became a member for life of the Foundation Gala created by Dalí and his son Nicholas.
Major auction houses such as Christie’s and Sotheby’s consult Robert Descharnes to authenticate all Dalí sculptures that they present.
In December 2011 Robert Descharnes has been awarded the “Ordre des Arts et Lettres” (Order of Arts and Letters) by the French Government. Its purpose is the recognition of significant contributions to the arts, literature, or the propagation of these fields. The designation of Chevalier (Knight) was appointed by Frederique M. Mitterrand, Minister of Culture and Communication.
Robert Descharnes and Gilles Néret wrote a double volume catalogue raisonné of Salvador Dalí’s paintings, published in 1994.
Sadly, Mr. Descharnes has just recently passed away, on February 15, 2014. His kind personality and great expertise will be greatly missed.