Tuesday, December 11, 2007


René Magritte (1898-1967) was a Belgian artist who painted detailed realism but founded his first inspiration in the work of Chirico. His naturalism stems from the tradition of Magic that flourished in Belgium in the late XIXth century. His goal was "poetic painting" : illusionistic pictures that transform objects into images having different meaning through astonishing transformations.

In the late 1920s, some critics heaped abuse on his first exhibition and depressed by the failure, he moved to Paris where he became friends with André Breton, and became involved in the surrealist group. His work was exhibited in the United States in New York in 1936 and again in that city in two retrospective exhibitions, one at the Museum of Modern Art in 1965, and the other at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1992.

In 1997, after a year-long media attack on its purchase of René Magritte's La Grande Famille for $5.9 million the year before, the Utsunomiya Art Museum opened in Tochigi, north of Tokyo showing the famous Magritte. To my opinion, it is far from being the best of the artist and it is not worth that amount of money.

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