February 10, 2017 - Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt - Magritte: The Treachery of Images
February 10, 2017

Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt

René Magritte, Variante de la tristesse (Variation of sadness), 1957. Oil on canvas, 50 x 60 cm. Kerry Stokes Collection, Perth. Photo: Acorn Photo, Perth. © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2017.

Magritte: The Treachery of Images
February 10–June 5, 2017

Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt
Römerberg
60311 Frankfurt am Main
Germany

www.schirn.de
www.schirn-mag.com
www.schirn.de/magritte/digitorial/en
Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Pinterest / YouTube / #ImagineMagritte / #Schirn

Magritte: The Treachery of Images
February 10–June 5, 2017

Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt
Römerberg
60311 Frankfurt am Main
Germany

www.schirn.de
www.schirn-mag.com
www.schirn.de/magritte/digitorial/en
Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Pinterest / YouTube / #ImagineMagritte / #Schirn

The Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt is presenting the first large-scale solo show devoted to the great Belgian Surrealist René Magritte in Germany for 20 years. Magritte (1898–1967) was a conjurer of enigmatic paintings. He did not see himself as an artist, but rather as a thinking human being who conveyed his thoughts through his painting. Throughout his life he sought to imbue painting with meaning equal to that of language. Driven by his curiosity and his affinities with some of the leading philosophers of his age, such as Michael Foucault, he created a remarkable body of work and developed an altered view of the world that is reflected in a unique combination of masterfully precise painting and conceptual processes. The exhibition sheds light on Magritte’s philosophical investigations in five chapters. His word pictures reflect his fundamental views on the relationship between language and visual imagery. Other essential pictorial formulas are concerned with legends and myths associated with the invention and definition of painting

“By virtue of his unique visual language, René Magritte is one of the most popular and influential artists of the 20th century. Major exhibitions devoted to the Belgian Surrealist are rare events, and thus I am all the more delighted that with Magritte: The Treachery of Images the Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt is presenting the first large-scale solo show in Germany for 20 years. Visitors can look forward to an exhibition that illuminates Magritte’s pictorial formulas against the background of the philosophical discourse of his time—an experience for both the eye and the mind,” says Dr. Philipp Demandt, Director of the Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt.

The exhibition Magritte: The Treachery of Images features some 70 artworks, including numerous masterpieces from major international museums as well as public and private collections, among them the Musée Magritte in Brussels, the Kunstmuseum Bern, the Dallas Museum of Art, the Menil Collection in Houston, the Tate in London, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne, and the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.

In contrast to the methods based on dream and automatism postulated by the Parisian Surrealists associated with André Breton, Magritte’s unparalleled visual language was grounded in the specifically Belgian manifestation of Surrealism, which called for the application of a dialectic method and scientific thinking. The expression “the stupidity of painters” that was commonly heard near the end of the 19th century, reflects the philosophical opinion that poetry ranked above painting and words above images. Magritte was unwilling to accept that premise. He defended the intellectual dignity of his art as long as he lived and sought to elevate his painting initially to the level of poetry and eventually to that of philosophy. Pursuing a quasi-scientific approach, the artist imbued his visual language with the objectivity of a vocabulary. His motifs–pipe, apple, melon, candle, curtain, flame, shadow, fragment, and hat, etc.—recur in various different combinations and contexts in his paintings. Magritte painted pictures whose meanings were intended to be universal. He viewed his painting as a kind of equation in which he ascribed to each work the solution to a “problem” in accordance with a dialectic principle. The quasi-scientific method Magritte applied in his painting bears witness to his distrust of simple answers and simplistic realism.

The exhibition Magritte: The Treachery of Images presented at the Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt is supported by Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

A comprehensive catalog with a foreword by Philipp Demandt and essays by Jan Blanc, Barbara Cassin, Michel Draguet, Jacqueline Lichtenstein, Didier Ottinger, Klaus Speidel, and Victor I. Stoichita has been published. A free digital tutorial guide, the digitorial, is available online here.

Magritte: The Treachery of Images. Exhibition produced by the Centre Pompidou, Musée national d’art moderne, Paris, in cooperation with the Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt.

The exhibition is under the joint high patronage of the Federal President Joachim Gauck and His Majesty the King of the Belgians.

Director: Dr. Philipp Demandt
Curators: Didier Ottinger (Centre Pompidou/Musée national d’art moderne, Paris) and Martina Weinhart (Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt)
Press contact: Pamela Rohde (Head of Press/Public Relations):
presse [​at​] schirn.de / T (+49 69) 29 98 82 148
Press material: www.schirn.de/en/ (texts, images, and films for download under PRESS)

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