June 24, 2011 - Tate Liverpool - Rene Magritte
June 24, 2011

Rene Magritte

René Magritte, Golconda 1953 (detail)*

René Magritte
The Pleasure Principle
24 June–16 October 2011

Tate Liverpool
Albert Dock
Liverpool, L3 4BB, UK
+ 44 (0) 151 702 7400
tate.org.uk/liverpool
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Opening Hours:
Monday–Sunday 10.00–17.50

This summer, Tate Liverpool will present the most comprehensive exhibition ever staged in the UK of the Belgian Surrealist René Magritte (1898–1967). Opening on 24 June, René Magritte: The Pleasure Principle will bring together over 100 paintings, some never before seen in the UK, as well as a rich selection of his little-known photographs, home movies and commercial art. The exhibition will reveal new dimensions to this popular artist, whose life and work seems now more relevant than ever.

René Magritte: The Pleasure Principle examines the artist’s oeuvre from a thematic perspective, displaying works in different media and from throughout his career. The exhibition will explore in-depth the compositional and conceptual devices used throughout his career from the mid-1920s to his death in 1967. Magritte used strategies of veiling and revelation (in curtained stage set compositions and in his ‘pictured pictures’), the uncanny double (the encounter with mannequins ambiguously located between life and death), paradoxical realities (the simultaneous state of night and day) and the metamorphic transformation of objects (through shifts in scale or petrification) to conjure an enigmatic and continually mesmerising world.

Drawn from public and private collections across the world, the exhibition will show a diverse and rich selection of Magritte’s work. Presented will be classic Surrealist images painted in Magritte’s characteristically graphic style, such as word-image paintings and his anonymous men in bowler hats with which the artist has become synonymous. The exhibition will feature iconic paintings, including The Threatened Assassin 1927, The Human Condition 1933, The Treachery of Images 1935, The Pleasure Principle 1937, Time Transfixed 1938, The Dominion of Light 1950, Golconda 1953, and The Listening Room 1958, which have become part of the popular imagination. A substantial number of works have never been exhibited in the UK before.

In addition the exhibition will include paintings from his lesser known ‘Vache’ period, erotic works and examples of his commercial designs. Rare photographs and home movie footage will illuminate the life and work of the artist further, providing insights into his relationship with his wife and muse Georgette and his collaborations within the Belgian Surrealist group. What emerges is a multifaceted artist and complex figure with an often anarchic sense of humour whose art transcends the image of the unexciting bourgeois which he liked to project.

René Magritte: The Pleasure Principle is curated by Christoph Grunenberg, Director, and Darren Pih, Exhibitions & Displays Curator, Tate Liverpool. The exhibition is initiated by Tate Liverpool and organised in collaboration with the Albertina, Vienna where it will be presented from 9 November 2011 to 26 February 2012.

*Image above:
The Menil Collection, Houston © Charly HERSCOVICI, Brussels – 2011.

Rene Magritte
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