In Lugano traveling with Magritte along the "Ligne de vie" – Mondo
René Magritte, Le Grand Siècle 1954, oil on canvas 60 x 50 cm, Kunstmuseum Gelsenkirchen © 2018 Prolitteris, Zurich
80 years after that day when the greatest exponent of surrealism in Belgium made known to all the genesis of his art, the MASI of Lugano – Art Museum of Italian Switzerland – pays tribute to Magritte with an exhibition that, from September 16 to January 6, through 90 works, traces the entire career of the artist from the creations of the early twenties to maturity.
These are experiments, in some cases far from the best known paintings of the Belgian master and rarely presented to the public, which highlight the juvenile infatuation of Magritte for Italian Futurism.
The pictorial style of these works is distant from the mature one, but the desire to contradict bourgeois praxis and artistic conventions is the same one that presides over the surrealist compositions.
Sliding along the exhibition path by Xavier Canonne and Julie Waseige, the audience attends an unprecedented confrontation between Les Plaisirs du poète (1912) by De Chirico and la Traversée difficile (1926) by Magritte, as well as admiring a wide selection of works created between the 1920s and the 1930s, from which the artist's favorite themes emerge.
There is the systematic search for an overwhelming poetic effect, achieved through the disorientation of very common objects, chosen so that their de-contextualization produces the maximum result, and there is, in works like Souvenir de voyage – reproducing a "petrified" still life – representation in a material different from the usual one.
The combination of words and images associated arbitrarily with each other, but also the representation of the visions of half-sleep, give life to works like Le Reflets du temps Le Parfume de l 'abîme, Le Noctambule . Masterpieces that, at the time of their creation, aroused not a few criticisms for "the absence of plastic quality, the renunciation of a picturesque style" in favor of a meager representation and placement of objects in places unusual.
In addition to dwelling on famous works such as La Mémoire of 1948 and La Grande Guerre of 1964, the exhibition path unlocks the unique and brief digression of Magritte from its unique style. This is the period vache literally 'cow', which contains a series of works made in 1948 with bright colors and free brushstrokes that ironically make the verse to Fauvism.
Photographs, documents, posters of the youth period films made by the artist in the fifties complete the exhibition illustrating the commercial side of his work.
After the Swiss stage, the exhibition, realized with the support of the Magritte Foundation, will fly to the new Amos Rex in Helsinki where it will be possible to visit from 8 February 2019.
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