Museum Exhibition Catalogues, Monographs, Artist's Projects, Curatorial Writings and Essays
"I want to let you know that since 'Girl,' which you viewed with pleasure the last time we saw each other, the sense of duty with which I executed the work (my last work) has not abated, and that thanks to this I am in possession of a personal tool that can express my true self-and I want to let you know that those who are capable of expressing their true selves are geniuses!" René Magritte, as quoted in Magritte: Attempting the Impossible, published by D.A.P./Distributed Art Publishers, Inc.
Published by The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Edited by Anne Umland. Text by Stephanie D’Alessandro, Michel Draguet, Claude Goormans, Josef Helfenstein, Clare Elliot.
Published in conjunction with a major exhibition organized by The Museum of Modern Art, New York, in collaboration with The Menil Collection, Houston, and The Art Institute of Chicago, Magritte: The Mystery of the Ordinary, 1926–1938 focuses on the breakthrough Surrealist years of René Magritte, creator of some of the twentieth century’s most extraordinary images. Bringing together nearly 80 paintings, collages and objects with a selection of photographs, periodicals and early commercial work, it offers fresh insight into Magritte’s identity as a modern artist and one of Surrealism’s greatest painters. Beginning in 1926, when Magritte first aimed to create paintings that would, in his words, “challenge the real world,” and concluding in 1938--a historically and biographically significant moment just before the outbreak of World War II--the publication traces central strategies and themes from this seminal period, particularly those of displacement, isolation, transformation, metamorphosis, the “misnaming” of objects and the representation of visions seen in half-waking states. The publication also includes an illustrated chronology outlining significant moments in the artist’s life during this period, including travel, connections with other Surrealist artists and writers, contributions to journals and important exhibitions and reviews.
Published by D.A.P./Distributed Art Publishers, Inc.. Text by Siegfried Gohr.
The ongoing relevance of Belgian painter René Magritte may lie in the semiotic character of his work and its ability to create chasms between the world, its surfaces and the signs we use to occupy it. Magritte's paintings offer a space for the viewer to contemplate the emptiness of signs and to locate that emptiness in a world we recognize--indeed, the artist relies on the props of normalcy in order to upend, invert and collapse them into the terra incognita where life leaves off and art begins. "The mind loves the unknown," he avowed, "it loves images whose meaning is unknown, since the meaning of the mind itself is unknown." In Attempting the Impossible we have a new definitive Magritte monograph, replacing David Sylvester's volume of the early 1990s. Featuring more than 300 works, it contains much unpublished material and includes chapters covering Magritte's photography, drawings and influence on German and American contemporary art. Each chapter opens with a close reading of a key work--such as "The Treachery of Images" ("This is not a pipe") of 1928-29--and a reconstruction of its intellectual and historical contexts. Art historian Siegfried Gohr examines Magritte's marriage and friendships, the phases of his work (from his sunlit Renoir period and his "période vache" to his bright and visually arresting postwar work, which had such an influence on the advertising industry), the Belgian roots of his wit and sensibility and his word paintings and investigations into the paradoxes of representation.
Published by D.A.P./Ludion. Edited and with essay by Patrick Roegiers.
The sublime visions of Surrealist master René Magritte often began in a viewfinder. In this major study, the first of its kind, noted photography critic, author and Magritte scholar Patrick Roegiers draws eye-opening connections between the artist's enduring paintings and his use of the emerging medium of photography, which he used as a hobby, as well as a serious component of his painting, and as an art in itself. Examining more than 200 previously unpublished photographs from Magritte's personal collection, Roegiers finds both important source material and illuminating biographical revelations. We see here pictures of friends--including the Belgian Surrealists Scutenaire, Nougé and Mesens--and acquaintances, whom Magritte sometimes shot in stage-managed tableaux. We glimpse his family and especially his wife, muse and model Georgette, posing whimsically and earnestly, as they decamp for Paris in 1927 and return to Brussels three years later. And perhaps most vitally important to understanding Magritte's work, his self-portraiture through photography provides crucial insight into the creation of his bowler-hatted icon and paintings such as “La Clairvoyance” from 1936. A photograph of this last work shows the artist at the easel of the famous painting of himself painting a bird. Later in life, as Magritte's fame grew, he himself was also a subject of other photographers' pictures, including photographs by Duane Michals on Magritte's first trip to the United States in 1965 and by Adelaide de Menil in Texas, in which the artist amusingly trades his bowler for a Stetson. This clear-eyed, all-encompassing look at what Magritte saw through the camera, and what he did in front of it, adds substantially to our appreciation of the artist who gave us the eye of “Le Faux Miroir.”
Published by D.A.P./Distributed Art Publishers, Inc.. Artwork by René Magritte. Edited by Daniel Abadie, Patrick Roegiers. Contributions by Alain Robbe-Grillet. Text by Jean-Michel Goutier, Renilde Hammacher, Bernard Noål, Jean Roudaut.
A picture of a pipe is not really a pipe, and a daylight-filled sky can shine over a streetlamp-lit townhouse, and a painting of a window inside a painting of a sitting room can be the window in that sitting room, and a room-sized rock can gaze out of that room at the sea, and, of course, a man is a suit can have a green apple for a face. At least, that is, in the world of Magritte. And who wouldn't want to believe in that world, or at least take pleasure in the ability to recognize parts of it in our own? One of the most charming and beloved of the surrealists, Renª Magritte took a light, witty paintbrush and created a world both familiar and not--but always recognizable in our dreams. His plays on semiotics, identity, the idea of woman, the possibilities inherent in objects, and the idea that everything was not necessarily what it seemed--or what it was supposed to be--are celebrated here in an intelligent retrospective monograph, featuring more than 150 paintings, sculptures, objects, and works on paper. The organization of this catalogue paints Magritte as an innovator, and an artist who has had significant influence on contemporary creators. Accompanying essays, including an introduction by Alain Robbe-Grillet, inventor of the nouveau roman, consider Magritte's influence on modern and contemporary art. Magritte's relationships with his surrealist contemporaries Louis Scutenaire and Andrª Breton, and the art dealers Edward James and Alexandre Iolas, are each revealed through individual art historical texts and a selection of unpublished letters. An illustrated chronology is included as well. This catalogue is published in conjunction with an exhibition at the Galerie Nationale du Jeu de Paume in Paris.
Published by Louisiana Museum of Modern Art. Essays by Lise Kaiser, Katrine Molstrom.
Providing myriad visual examples of the ''Magritte effect,'' this new volume presents work by an artist who even among his fellow Surrealist painters seems--even after so many years--shocking, original, and preternaturally strange. Magritte's work manages to remain challenging because it marks a paradigm shift occurring within high modernism that the world is still dealing with today--an ever-recurring moment where everyday life seems unnatural, where the bedrock epistemological and ontological assumptions on which our concept of reality is based seem about to unravel. Testifying to the continuing resonance of Magritte's oeuvre in our contemporary world, this new volume presents Magritte as a forerunner and source of inspiration for Pop Art and Conceptual Art. Presenting a treasure trove of some of Magritte's most sumptuous and uniquely captivating works in full color, Magritte also features astute and thought-provoking texts on Magritte's art and its influence.