René Magritte: The Revealing Image, Latrobe Regional Gallery

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Magritte 5

René Magritte: René Magritte and The Barbarian (Le Barbare), London Gallery, London, 1938, Private collection, Courtesy Brachot Gallery, Brussels, Original photograph, 43.2 x 33.2 cm

René Magritte: The Revealing Image is an exhibition showcasing never before seen photos and films by Belgian surrealist René Magritte to be held at the Latrobe Regional Gallery, Victoria from August 19 to November 19, 2017 in collaboration with the Magritte Foundation, Belgium.

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René Magritte: Shunk Kender: René Magritte in front of Le sens de réalité, 1960 Private collection, Courtesy Brachot Gallery, Brussels Original photograph, 43.2 x 33.2 cm

Surrealism was a movement that emerged following World War I at Paris and taken up during the 1920’s, in one way or another, by artists in England, America and the rest of Europe in the mediums of visual, performance, film and fashion as art.

Resolving dream and reality was integral to its visual imagery, calling on the unconscious mind to express itself through unnerving images, illogical scenes and strange creatures, especially as they emerged from everyday objects.

René Magritte became a master of the genre as it evolved, with its precisely rendered geometrical abstraction.

“My painting is visible images which conceal nothing; they evoke mystery and, indeed, when one sees one of my pictures, one asks oneself this simple question, ‘What does that mean?’ It does not mean anything, because mystery means nothing, it is unknowable.” he said.

Detail: Réne Magritte, Son of Man,

Detail: Réne Magritte, Son of Man, 1946

Perhaps his the Son of Man, a self portrait with his face obscured by a green apple, has become his most iconic image, especially after featuring in the popular remake of movie The Thomas Crown Affair in 1999.

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René Magritte Shunk Kender: René Magritte and The Likeness (La ressemblance), about 1962. Private collection, Courtesy Brachot Gallery, Brussels Original photograph, 41.2 x 33.2 cm

132 original photographs by Magritte will be on show together with 8 films, which are sure to attract attention. The majority of the works have never been exhibited outside Europe before so it is a coup for the gallery in Morwell, Eastern Victoria, which has just been renovated and officially re-opened.

The display will provide an intimate look at the artist’s inner circle and a candid insight into the workings of his Surrealist mind.

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René Magritte The Meeting (Le Rendez-vous), 1938. Brussels Private collection, Courtesy Brachot Gallery, Brussels Original photograph, 43.2 x 33.2 cm

“The photographs and films were created as works of art by Magritte, one of the signature Western artists of the twentieth century. Discovered in the mid-1970s, more than 10 years after the artist’s death, they have contributed significantly to our appreciation of Magritte’s wider oeuvre’ said Chief Curator Xavier Canonne.

European contemporary movements such as Cubism and Surrealism, which went to extremes of scandalizing viewers before pausing in the flames of World War II, really only had a ripple effect on Australian contemporary artists at the time.

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René Magritte The Giant (Le Géant), 1937. Paul Nougé on the Belgian Coast Private collection, Courtesy Brachot Gallery, Brussels Original photograph, 41.2 x 33.2 cm

They became concerned, exercising caution when adapting modernist ideas. They did however provide a platform for a creative exchange of ideas and a lively debate about what art is, or is not with the populace at large, and it is a rich legacy, which still continues today to have an impact.

Many say Surrealism reveals the true breadth of human ingenuity and expression.

Find out for yourself!

Carolyn McDowall, The Culture Concept Circle, 2017

René Magritte: The Revealing Image
Photos and Films

August 19 – November 19, 2017

Latrobe Regional Gallery
138 Commercial Road, Morwell, Victoria 3840 Australia

Extended Opening Hours: Monday to Thursday 10am-5pm; Friday 10am-7pm
Saturday and Sunday 10am-5pm; Public Holidays closed.

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