Hommage à René Magritte (1898-1967)

by Alden Cole on July 28, 2014 · 0 comments

ThisIsNot...WPThe great Belgian Surrealist painter Rene Magritte first came to my attention many years ago through the reproduction of numerous paintings in the media of publishing and television which have contributed enormously to rendering his images iconic in the modern world. If you don’t know his work, look him up online. If you DO know his work, look him up online anyway, as it’s likely that no matter how many of his enigmatic paintings you may have seen, there’s a good chance you haven’t seen all 1800 plus artworks he created in his 68+ years. I haven’t either, but I’m working on it…

1929-52.TheTreacheryofImagesWPOne of his most famous images – inspiration for today’s featured photograph – La Trahison des Images (The Treachery of Images), was painted in 1929, just as he was finding his own unique voice and vision. In 1952 he revisited the idea with a drawing that shows his never-diminished sense of humor. Ceci n’est pas une pipe (This is not a pipe.) has evolved into Ceci continue de ne pas étre une pipe (This continues to not be a pipe.) Fellow surrealist Max Ernst declared that Magritte was “a poet who just happened to be able to paint.” My increasing exposure to his work over the years encourages me to concur with Ernst’s evaluation. Recently while on a road-trip vacation to the midwest I saw an excellent installation of his work – The Mystery of the Ordinary – displaying over 100 paintings and drawings at the Art Institute of Chicago, following showings in Paris and New York. Despite his increasing fame in recent years which has spawned numerous retrospectives of his work, this was the first time I have been fortunate enough to see a number of his paintings in person, including a number of personal favorites, like The Treachery of Images seen above. Reading David Sylvester’s excellent monograph on Magritte while I was in Chicago waiting to see the show also wetted my appetite to see more, which the internet has serendipitously allowed me to satisfy. Curious? I can recommend an excellent blog by musician, writer and artist Richard L. Matteson Jr., also a lover of Magritte, who has assembled an impressive online gallery of lots and lots of his work, much of which I’d never seen before. Enjoy!

{ 0 comments… add one now }

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: