Beniamino Levi, President of the Dalí Universe, is a globally recognized Modern Art expert.
With a prestigious and experienced career spanning over 70 years in the art market, Mr. Levi has a profound knowledge of the most important stylistic epochs from Impressionism to Contemporary Art. Mr. Levi is a collector-connoisseur whose interest in fine and decorative arts was cultivated from an early age – his grandfather was an antiques dealer in San Remo in the 1800s
In burgeoning Milan of the 1960s and 1970s Mr. Levi thrived in the management of the prestigious “Galleria Levi” on Via Montenapoleone. Levi sought to bring international Modern Art to Italian collectors and diffuse the movement among the wider Italian public. During a bridge tournament Levi encountered the well-known Milanese art critic Franco Passoni who was most impressed by Levi`s, passion, knowledge and ambition. Franco Passoni inspired and encouraged Levi to open an art gallery focusing on the fresh Modern artistic trends. Mr. Levi opened his gallery in 1956 when he was only twenty-eight years old, running it himself until 1978. During his years of managing Galleria Levi Beniamino Levi met many legendary names of the art world including Pablo Picasso, Andy Warhol, Giorgio de Chirico, Giorgio Morandi, Lucio Fontana and of course the Master of Surrealism Salvador Dalí
“I incited him to make sculptures of his best-known paintings.”
One of the reasons that led Salvador Dalí to create the bronze sculptural works was precisely his meeting with Beniamino Levi:
” Dalí has been an important part of my life. I knew him personally, and around the 1980s we worked together on many projects, inciting him a bit to make sculptures of his images, the best known ones. He made about 20 sculptural works for me, which I have then exhibited over the past four decades in over a hundred museums around the world.”
Exhibitions & publications by Beniamino Levi
In the 1960s, Beniamino Levi organized a Surrealist Art exhibition at the `Galleria Levi´ in Milan. During the course of the exhibition he was introduced to Salvador Dalí; it was to prove to be an important meeting. As a result of their acquaintance, Levi travelled frequently to meet with Dalí at his residences in Paris and New York and at his home in Spain. Fascinated by some of Dalí’s early sculptural works, which he had discovered and purchased in a Paris gallery, Levi encouraged the Surrealist master to express his artistic vision again in sculptural form, commissioning him to create a series of bronzes based on his most famous Surrealist images.
Levi worked closely with Dalí in the development of the bronze sculpture collection and is recognized worldwide as a leading expert on the bronzes of Dalí. He has lectured and written on the subject on numerous occasions, also publishing a definitive text on the Dali Sculpture Collection, ‘Dalí in the Third Dimension ‘, with the Italian publishing house Allemandi.
It was through these early encounters with Dalí during the 1960s that Levi became the publisher of the Limited Edition Dalí Sculptures and began to establish The Dalí Universe Collection, which today, more than 50 years later, has become the immense and important artwork collection managed by the Dalí Universe. The Dalí Universe artwork collection has continuously evolved over the past 40 years.