Salvador Dali can be credited for being one of the greatest surrealist artists of all time. One of his accomplishments, Ange Pi-Mesonic, in my opinion, is truly one of his greatest and least praised works as an artist. The title of the picture can be translated as Pi-Mesonic Angel, a very strange yet suitable title. The word meson alludes to a class of elementary subatomic particles that participate in strong interactions, which forms the basis of the painting. This work is vigorous, effectual, and full of energy. It is a depiction of nuclear chaotic forces interacting in perfect unison.
Ange Pi-Mesonic was started in 1957 and completed in 1958. A vast majority of Dali’s pieces are oil on canvas. This illustration is just a little bigger than a regular sheet of paper. He used ink, pencil and a small amount of gouache to complete this piece. The picture may represent a dream of his, as most of his works appear to do. There is no real style association here, but it was labeled as divisionistic art. This does not adequately classify the drawing because divisionism is defined as a sub genre of neoimpressionism in which colors are divided into their components and mechanically arranged so that the eye organizes the shape. The eye cannot organize the shape of this piece, and thus the expectation that there is more than the basis of divisionism at work here. Divisionism, as defined from a scientific view, was a principle studied by Werner Heisenburg. This scientist suggested that matter might have several forms harmoniously coexisting within a single structure. It is strange that a scientific principle can label the work instead of a style of painting such as impressionism or renaissance.
Dali used a grayscale, monochromatic scheme comprised of ink and pencil for the majority of the work. In the upper right hand corner of the piece a small explosion of gouache, synonymous with his work, hovers over the pen and ink in somewhat of an authoritative state. Gouache is a method of painting with opaque watercolors mixed with a preparation of gum; he used a white watercolor. This catches the eye more than anything does in the work; it looks as if it should not belong. He uses a great deal of different shapes so there is no repetition in the work. The viewer can start at any point in the piece and will be guided through it with ease. This is not a work that has to be read from left to right or vice-versa. His shading techniques and the selection of texture are brilliant and stunning; each part of the picture compliments the others soundly. Explosions of ink and pencil guide the viewer through the work and it appears that Dali did this so effortlessly. It is amazing that his mind could produce an image of absolute randomness and chaos in such a state of harmony. There is no compositional unity and balance in the painting, which fortifies the feeling of chaos. From a technical view, there is no symmetry in the piece. However, complex symmetry is produced throughout the different textures and how they are incorporated into one another.
This unity of chaos depicted in the work goes along quite well with Werner Heisenburg’s theory. Digging deeper into the mind of Dali, the viewer may begin to recognize symbolism and interpret the work from a different standpoint. I think that this work can symbolize life in many ways. This work appears as if it were a snapshot taken of the constantly changing forces of life that mysteriously coincide with harmony. An unseen being or entity guides these forces. This could be a creator, a moderator, or just the idea that the earth is a living and breathing being. Whatever it may be, the small gouache splatter in the upper right corner of the work hovers over the ink and pencil in a blissful state. This symbolizes the moderator or the authoritative in this piece that is ruled by chaos. Although this work would have produced harmony and unity without this small explosion of watercolor, it would have not had the same effect without it. When the work is viewed, this disruption of the chaos stands out more than any other part of the piece.
Harmony is established by Dali’s fading from each changing texture. His mission for this work was to give unity to chaos, and he has succeeded. Dali’s work is reasonably predictable at times; intended symbolism is more blatant in other painting of his. The great thing about Ange Pi-Mesonic is that it can be interpreted in so many different ways. It evokes emotion: anger, madness, confusion, and frustration. On the contrary, however, it is strangely calming. This calming force guided by the small splatter of gouache in the work makes way for an intelligent and extremely creative piece that is rarely spoken of. Dali may have been know as a surrealist, to some a pervert, but in this piece he exceeds himself. There are many drawings or painting by several artists of men and women in harmony or in chaos, but to capture the essence or abstract idea of chaos in harmony is a true sign of genius.