RENE MAGRITTE DER VERRAT DER BILDER

The Schirn-Kunsthalle frankfurt presents the zuerst retrospective von Belgian Surrealist René Magritte bei Germany because twenty years. The zeigen curated von Didier Ottinger which can be checked out at ns Centre Pompidou an Paris before und had kommen sie be decreased slightly weil das the rooms at ns Schirn presents much more than 70 works von Magritte from every his creative periods. On display screen are paints from public und private collections an Europe, north America und Australia.

Du schaust: Rene magritte der verrat der bilder


The title des the exhibition La Trahison von Images, in English The Treachery von Images was adopted from die presumably most well known painting by Magritte, the image of a pipe, with die sentence composed underneath “Ceci n’est pas une pipe” – “This zu sein not a pipe”. Bei this work ns entire imagery über René Magritte, his philosophy des painting, is put in a nutshell. “Stupid as a painter” has been a saw in France and Belgium at ns beginning of the 20th century, allegedly it had actually been spread über Marcel Duchamp, that other art-philosopher who was zu revolutionize contemporary art. Painting was said zu be a mere copy des reality und the image inferior to ns word des poetry und philosophy, this attitude established since old times und supported über Hegel René Magritte no want kommen sie accept without contradiction. Bei the controversy with the poets des the Surrealist movement which had its origin bei poetry Magritte attempted kommen sie prove the painting was equal kommen sie poetry. Bei order zu liberate painting from its spirituality bonds René Magritte provided irony as a exceptional sort of consciousness i beg your pardon scrutinizes ns mystery of the world with that is unfathomable absurdity in a humorous manner.



René Magritte was born bei Lessines in the Walloon part des Belgium bei 1898. His childhood was overshadowed von the disastrous suicide of his mom who drowning herself in the fluss Sambre one night, when he was fourteen years old. When produziert body was retrieved from die water, herstellung face was enveloped bei her nightdress. This sight von the veiled confront was kommen sie return an Magritte’s later work again and again, like an the gemälde The Lovers v two kissing lover whose encounters are enshrouded in a blanket. Also the collapse des a captive balloon onto die house of the household was in incisive experience which René Magritte maintained picking up in his images. Ns suspension von gravity and the contradiction betwee the outer visible shell and its invisible content, too as ns apparent shape von objects as a bare lieferung picture von reality became central themes in Magritte’s aesthetics.


His penchant for the mysterious was fed by the cinema, he was arrested von Fantômas, the master von disguise, but so by slapstick comedies v Laurel and Hardy. Die somewhat ridiculous looking man with bowler hat who shows up on many des his bildern is the das alter ego von René Magritte, emerged from die silent films of his youth and his bürgerlich environment which the caricatured with subtle humour and made a fool des with pretended piety. Later bei the 50s Magritte bought one des the first Super 8 Cameras and made little home movies weil das fun an which the satirized his imagery.


Wallonia, whereby Magritte thrived up, was shaped von coal mining and the stole industry und hasn’t been a broad-minded place much away from ns intellectual center Brussels. Ns flat landscape was lacking points von interest and forced René Magritte at an early stage on kommen sie focus top top his own inner creativity which he caught on canvas evoking cool spaces painted bei the manner of the alt masters in his letztere career.



In 1916 the enrolled at die Academy von Fine Arts in Brussels, but his enthusiasm was soon undermined von the conservative scholastic class. At die beginning des his artistic breakthrough René Magritte began zu deal with Cubism und Futurism, till he got in contact v the gruppe of the future Belgian Surrealists bei Brussels und was given die decisive push zum his very own work von them: a reproduction of the Love Song über Giorgio außerdem Chirico was bei awakening for him just like other images von de Chirico had actually been weil das André Breton, max Ernst and Yves Tanguy. After ns incubation v Pittura Metafisica bei 1925 René Magritte produced his erste surrealist painting, The lost Jockey who was to rush through his absurd image spaces again und again danach on. Die Brussels Surrealist kopieren, gruppe was formed von E.L.T. Mesens, paulus Nougé und Camille Goemans with René Magritte as ns leading figure und were bei loose contact with ns Surrealists an Paris about André Breton.


Magritte’s beforehand pictures von the 20s, such as his large-sized paint The mystery Player are ausblüten narrative und cursed to the exploration von the subconscious. A pulled rückseitig curtain opens ns view top top a forest von giant chessmen, with two baseball players in action. Your movements show up frozen, since a match ball can’t be seen, rather there zu sein a weird flying thing which reminds des a schwarze farbe sea turtle without head. Ns object seems to float or to swim i beg your pardon submerges the scenery with the baseball players favor into the water, that stands zum the immersion into ns own psyche. A woman is standing an a kind of opened up cabinet v closed eyes and a surgical mask, together if she was dreaming and sentenced kommen sie silence.



In order to earn a living Magritte painted flower patterns in a wallpaper factory and worked together a graphics designer an advertising which strongly influenced ns development des his intuitive motifs. Both die oversized roses which are growing bei his interiors and the symbiosis of word and image which ist common bei advertising came to be important subjects bei the imagery über René Magritte. But the knew the he might make his way punkt the art market und live on paint only, if the settled in Paris. That sought a closer participation with die Surrealist kopieren, gruppe around André Breton, however, Magritte always has to be anxious to keep his independence. A life as a Bohemien, as führen zu by his friends bei Paris, didn’t average anything zu René Magritte, rather he coquetted v his bürgerliche lifestyle and his strong Walloon accent which revealed his provincial origin. He taken into consideration himself as a thinker who was disgusted von any affectations typical of artists. Therefore he did without a studio deliberately and preferred sitting bei front des his easel an a suit in the dining room to paint.


Magritte detested travelling und didn’t like kommen sie visit exhibitions or museums. Even the Uffizi in Florence couldn’t arrest him zum longer than fünfzehn minutes, the didn’t want to lakers anything an ext than die Botticellis. Wie he no paint, he played chess or occupied himself with philosophy, particularly he desired Heidegger, Hegel und Kant. The stories by Edgar Allan Poe fascinated him throughout his life.


Magritte’s bürgerliche lifestyle was a thorn bei the side of André Breton. An 1929 a quarrel with Breton who was a fundamentalist nonbeliever about Magritte’s wife Georgette attract a necklace with a crucifix throughout a Surrealist conference made them break your friendship. Ns relationship bolzen Magritte und Breton remained daunting throughout their life in spite of their mutual appreciation, after a cautious rapprochement in 1943 there was another disrupture. Through his manifesto Le Surréalisme en plein soleil – Surrealism an Full Sunlight Magritte seek to revolutionieren the sombre nett of Surrealism using the colors of Impressionism, inspired über Auguste Renoir, i beg your pardon understandably challenged André Breton to in angry reaction.



Also his philosphical approach made er move away from the French Surrealist group. Surrealism, together it had actually been formulated über André Breton, was about psychic automatism and the magic des coincidence an order zu reveal ns hidden bild of the subconscious von abandoning reason. However, René Magritte wasn’t a dreamer, yet a thinker that sought to use logic in order to decipher the great mystery von existence whose absurdity can be encountered only with humour. Concerning this suggest Magritte was closer to ns Dadaistic welt view by Tristan Tzara or Francis Picabia than ns depth psychological approach by André Breton.


What has been there first, die hen or die egg? an his bild A sport on Sadness v a hen gift absorbed in contemplating in egg cup an front of a mountain bei the evening light, he mystifies die viewer with ns unanswerable enigma of the origin of life. René Magritte has constantly painted acquainted objects of daily life which tun können be turned right into their contrary meaning and create a paradox context nonwithstanding their banal appearance: die apple, the hat, the curtain, die cloud. Zu suppose a symbolism in his motifs was strictly rejected von him, in his check out sensations, concepts und ideas could notfall be depicted.



His images painted an the manner des the old masters have bei effect like declaring messages, with the implementation von words an the compositions being obvious due kommen sie his suffer as a graphic designer. Often the pictorial space zu sein broken up von blanks that got stuck like spots somewhere betwee the figurative and the abstract and cannot be damit verbundenen with any kind of object. Into this notional place holders there are written words des objects i beg your pardon aren’t linked with die other visible and familiar objects an the picture bei any way and question the reality of them. Die word gives the unpainted object a meaning, whereas the painted thing evokes the word linked zu it. Magritte claimed that in object was not so attached kommen sie its benennen that over there couldn’t be found another one that would suit that better. Die complex relationship betwee language, real things und their images which ns brain needs kommen sie bring right into a logical order zu sein disintegrated an a subversive way.

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The image of in object no a real object yet, no its description des it, von renaming them René Magritte destroys ns viewer’s chain des associations and takes die depicted objects out von context. So to speak this represents ns reverse Surrealist procedure über André Breton who stages ns coincidental encounter of bei umbrella und a sewing an equipment on a dissecting table bei order kommen sie put jene alien zu their nature in a neu context. Ns word image Ceci n’est pas une pipe came to be Magritte’s most well known creation, at the Schirn frankfurt the English version This is not a Pipe of the motif executed in several variations ist on display. The painted canvas pretends kommen sie depict fact which is in error, however, together it to represent only the notion. Die linguistic denotation of in object currently implies its interpretation which, however, misses to kommen sie up to objective reality. This ist not a Pipe isn’t only a questioning of human perception, but deshalb a reaction to ns phrase von his Surrealist friend André Breton and Paul Eluard who explained poetry as follows: “La poesie est une pipe” – “Poetry zu sein a Pipe”.


Plato’s ancient Allegory von the Cave was consistently ~ above René Magritte’s mind. Right here Plato describes a kopieren, gruppe of people held captive an a cave, with the consequence the they can recognize objects only von their cast shadows which room projected onto ns wall von the cave von a fire. Therefore their understanding des the world ist considerably limited und distorted. Therefore die vision von truth zu sein the result of a minimal sensory perception, which zu sein able zu capture only a section von reality. As a consequence ns objectivity von a visual description bei questioned generally. René Magritte has actually chosen ns Allegory des the cavern as topic matter in his picture The human Condition. Candle, flame, shadow, silhouette and image section are continually recurring subjects in Magritte’s Platonic imagery.


The motif von the curtain is based on an ancient myth which was delivered von Pliny ns Elder. This legend is about die mastership in illusionist paint which bring realism to such a perfection that die human eye ist deceived. Die painters Zeuxis und Parrhasios complete with each other about who is the far better painter. Zeuxis presents a gemälde with grapes that room painted an such a realistic method that die birds come near to pick indigenous them. Zeuxis considers himself to be victorious und pushes Parrhasios triumphantly zu pull the curtain from his gemälde at last. But ns curtain zu sein painted, deshalb deceptively real-looking, the Zeuxis is forced kommen sie acknowledge Parrhasios together winner, as he had actually been able to fool even the human eye.


René Magritte, the Human Condition, 1935


René Magritte, ns Memoirs of a Saint, 1960


For René Magritte reality was just in illusion that surprise multiple truths.


René Magritte was bei a constant exchange of principles with ns post-structuralist thinker Michel Foucault about die discrepancy betwee the person perception des reality and the essence des reality. Foucault postulated language notfall to be nur a narration of reality, but zu create it. Magritte claimed his nett to be “the summary of bei absolute thought, that method a thought, ns meaning of which remains deswegen unrecognizable, as die one von the world”. Die mystery des existence doesn’t include any kind of concealed matter, its only meaning zu sein the nonsense which increase from it. This nonsense he seeks kommen sie express an equations that reveal die congruity bolzen seeing und thinking. Transparent his life Magritte was denied ns recognition von official representatives of philosophy, not before 1973, six years after his death, Michel Foucault dedicated his manuscript Ceci n’est pas une pipe kommen sie him and appreciated his philosophical efforts.


Magritte’s ambitious to see behind ns curtain ist expressed in the most impressive way in his picture-in-picture motifs. Often there is a paint on in easel which is congruent v the image section behind which is hidden by it. But zu sein really behind the bild what the seems kommen sie depict? die eye is easily resolved with prefabricated truths, the truth could also be fully different, lot of realities can exist behind die illusion. Ns visible no the real for Magritte, for him the visible was abundant enough zu shape ns poetic, pass out language von the mystery of the invisible and the visible. Man never watch things die way together they are und the painter never ever depicts them die way as he watch them. Hence painting isn’t capable of illustrating reality, as die complex transmission des meanings betwee sender and receiver continually distorts fact bit von bit.


René Magritte fixes ns superimposed visual layers des reality an his images that way that ns laws des logic room suspended and create in absurd multidimensional space. As a result, die immobility des the illustrated objects becomes obvious, as if time stood still. Even ns galloping jockey seems kommen sie be frozen prefer a snapshot, und when Magritte places er on the roof von a (only seemingly) control car, he wollen become a truly immobile object. This raises die question, if ns mystery des the world zu sein subject to a determinist principle, v a defined prozess of sachen and in only family member motion, depending on the position von the viewer. The zutat of objects zu sein relative und exchangeable as well, since finally they appear fossilized and come to the irrevocable ending des a transforming procedure which provides them move through various states von matter. And what about death? “Let’s not talk about it…”, claimed René Magritte.


He challenges secret again und again, von thwarting die order von things and the trust in the logic of the universe with sleights von hand. Die seriousness Newton and Einstein showed an decoding die laws of physics zu sein held up kommen sie ridicule. Die inanimate ist brought kommen sie life, incombustible dinge catch fire, gravity is suspended. In in endless metamorphosis parts are turn into die whole thing und vice versa, die leaf becomes ns tree, content and shell room swapped, together as die shoe Magritte makes flourish toes native it. Inside and outside cannot be discerned indigenous anymore, if the viewer aussehen through a window into a room, he will see the façade he ist standing an front of. Foreground and background room swapped, ns visual references of the viewer room confounded, wie man a lady is riding through a forest und her horse zu sein hidden über the gaps betwee the trees. Also the proportions space turned upside down, objects of daily life show up oversized, or is it maybe just the surrounding room that ist shrinking?


René Magritte, die Red Model, 1935


René Magritte, ns Blank Signature, 1965


René Magritte keeps die voyeuristic viewer weist distance, his female nudes store their secret.


The woman nude theatre a significant role in the ouevre von René Magritte, that treats the woman with unobtrusive respect, like Aphrodite she radiates chaste eroticism. Her poses und complexion remind des ancient statues, perhaps a reminiscence of Magritte’s role modell Giorgio dach Chirico. Her marmoreal immobility turns ns woman into in unreachable und invulnerable object bei the eyes des the voyeur by transfiguring produziert into a mythical figure. Clearly erotic hints always refer zu fragments of the female human body only, kommen sie attributes that room presented separately from the portrayed person. That’s method Magritte remains on in abstract level that doesn’t get too close to die personality von the woman und equates herstellung with a goddess. She doesn’t give up her secret that ns voyeuristic viewer had actually hoped for, thus becoming guilty.


As calculated as Magritte’s bild creations might be, their titles room all ns more poetic. They always didn’t come about before ns painting was finished and partly had kommen sie pass a facility identification und examination stage. On part canvas rückseitig sides over there are numerous titles crossed through, till finally the appropriate one was found. Deshalb friends of René Magritte’s take it part in the search weil das the right title i beg your pardon had to result an a poetic unified with die image. In doing deswegen he beat the Surrealist poets weist their own game, as the titles of his photos are pure poetry.


In die era of fake news and alternative facts die work von René Magritte appears more relevant than ever. In the competition zum dominating communication bei the digital media images schutz outstripped words, a so late satisfaction weil das the “stupid” painters die poets had looked down upon at the beginning des the 20th century. However, bei a die gesellschaft that places appearance over reality and has legitimized lie as in instrument of the elites in their struggle for the preservation of power, it seems appropriate to mistrust images. Castle smack of treachery, the autonomous viewer zu sein well-advised kommen sie question them und debunk their tricks, no matter, if they serve to hülle up reality or to pretend non-existing aesthetics.

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Reality is splitting hoch into more and more parallel universes independent from every other, if it wollen turn totally into a surreality bei the 21st century, the viewer need to decide for the many poetic möglichkeit at least. As soon as André Breton request himself die rhetorical inquiry “What zu sein Surrealism?” and answered himself: “The cuckoo’s egg, that’s placed an the nest, with the complicity von René Magritte”.