Salvador Dali’s masterpiece to extend Rundle Mall stay

Last updated 08 June, 2023

Salvador Dali’s world-famous Triumphant Elephant sculpture — worth more than $3 million — will remain in Rundle Mall for a further 12 months.

The installation of the three tonne, seven-metre bejewelled bronze elephant with spider-like legs was secured through a partnership between Adelaide Economic Development Agency (AEDA) and international fine art company Art Evolution.

The sculpture will stay at its current location in the Mall's Eastern End, near Smiggle and Kikki K.

AEDA Executive Manager Rundle Mall Andrew White said the sculpture had delighted locals and tourists alike.

“We are excited to extend AEDA’s partnership with Art Evolution for a further 12 months so that the sculpture can continue to be enjoyed by the public for free in the heart of the city," Mr White said.

“Like the Mall’s Balls, the Pigeon and the bronze pigs, the Triumphant Elephant has quickly become a much loved and often photographed piece of public art.”

 Art Evolution President Christopher Talbot said he was thrilled the public could continue to enjoy the sculpture.

“One of the mantras of Art Evolution is ‘ICE – inspire community enrichment’, so it’s a real pleasure to extend our partnership with the Adelaide Economic Development Agency and have the Triumphant Elephant remain in the Mall for another 12 months,” he said.

“This is just the second public appearance for the sculpture in Australia and, as it did on Rodeo Drive in Los Angeles, it has become a drawcard for tourists and art lovers.

“Rundle Mall is among the most high-profile and regularly frequented locations in all of the state, so it’s a very fitting home for the sculpture.

“The entire Salvador Dali sculpture collection is currently being exhibitied at the iconic d’Arenberg Cube in McLaren Vale.”

‘Triumphant Elephant’, or Eléphant de triomphe, is one of Salvador Dali’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.

Salvador Dali (1904-1989) is regarded as a titan of modern art and one of the most important artists of the 20th century along with Picasso, Matisse, Pollock and Warhol. 

His range of artistic talent included paintings, films, fashion, jewellery, architecture and sculpture.

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