Salvador Dalí’s ‘Triumphant Elephant’, a seven-metre, three-tonne bejewelled bronze elephant with spiderlike legs carrying a trumpeting angel, has been installed on Rundle Mall as part of a partnership between the Adelaide Economic Development Agency (AEDA), Art Evolution, Dali Universe Switzerland and the d’Arenberg Cube.
Valued at more than $3 million, Dalí’s sculpture is on loan to Rundle Mall for the next 12 months from the ongoing Dalí exhibition at the d’Arenberg Cube.
While it has been exhibited across Europe and Asia, Rundle Mall is only the second public appearance for ‘Triumphant Elephant’ in Australia, after being shown at the d’Arenberg Cube for the past two years. It is widely regarded as one of the most coveted pieces in the Dalí Universe collection and is free for the public to enjoy at the eastern end of Rundle Mall, near Smiggle and Kikki K.
d’Arenberg Chief Winemaker Chester Osborn said: “In keeping with Dalí’s vision for this incredible artwork and the artistic and cultural history of Adelaide, I’m very pleased to share the spectacular sculpture with Rundle Mall.”
“The Mall is such an important and high-profile location in our beautiful city, we know Dalí would approve!”
AEDA Chair Nikki Govan said hosting the ‘Triumphant Elephant’ was a coup for the city and Rundle Mall and a tremendous gesture by Art Evolution, Dalí Universe and the d’Arenberg Cube.
“This beautiful sculpture is sure to delight children and adults alike,” she said. “When ‘Triumphant Elephant’ was on show on Rodeo Drive, it drew enormous interest and we’re sure it will fast become another drawcard in Rundle Mall.”
Lord Mayor Sandy Verschoor welcomed the arrival of the ‘Triumphant Elephant’ to Rundle Mall and thanks Art Evolution, Dalí Universe and the d’Arenberg Cube for their generosity.
“Adelaide is a world-renowned city of art and so it makes sense for us to be the first capital city in Australia to display this magnificent sculpture,” the Lord Mayor said. “It adds to our dynamic city culture and will take pride of place in the heart of our city for everyone to enjoy.”
The Dalí sculptures are on loan from the Dalí Universe in Switzerland, and international project manager James Sanders said Salvador Dalí loved seeing his artistic creations displayed in unusual locations.
“Traditionally original monumental Dalí sculptures are exhibited in cities such as Paris, New York, Los Angeles and Singapore,” he said. “We’re delighted with this collaboration and to share Dalí’s work with the people of South Australia.”
Christopher Talbot, the President of Art Evolution, curated the Dalí exhibition at the d’Arenberg Cube.
“One of the mantras of Art Evolution is that of inclusion and so we are thrilled to be able to share some of our Dalí sculpture collection within public spaces,” he said.
About the sculpture
‘Triumphant Elephant’, or Eléphant de triomphe, is one of Salvador Dalí’s most iconic monumental sculptures. Conceived in 1975, it was first cast in bronze in 1984. An elephant atop spiderlike legs, the sculpture emphasises the contrast between robustness and fragility, much like the contrast between the past and modernity. The majestic animal’s bejewelled saddle symbolises wealth, and the dawn of a new era is announced by a flying angel, trumpeting success and prosperity.