Magritte: La Trahison des images, at the Centre Pompidou...

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01/23/17 - The Centre Pompidou, in Paris' 4th arrondisement, informs on its website which are the most convenient times to visit its temporary exhibition "Magritte: La Trahison des images" (Magritte: the treason of the images)A colorful timetable shows which are the more crowded time slots: in our case, it wasn't very useful. In a freezing Paris, a 45-minute wait is hard to endure... However, everything is forgotten when, in spite of the crowd, we reach the forth floor.
The exhibition is a new approach to René Magritte's work (Belgium, 1898-1967), characterized by a series of motifs, such as curtains, shadows, words and bodies that mix themselves in never-ending combinations.
Le heureux donateur, by René Magritte (1966)
Technique: oil on canvas
La Décalcomanie, by René Magritte (1966)
Technique: oil on canvas
L'acte de foi, by René Magritte (1960)
Technique: oil on canvas
Les Mémories d’un saint, by René Magritte (1960)
Technique: oil on canvas

Was Magritte a surrealist? The exhibition reveals that when he moved to Le Perreux-sur-Marne in 1927, in the suburbs of Paris, he met the founders of the artistic movement. That was a Surrealism born from Hegel's writings and that found in poetry the best way to express the Spirit. While André Breton claimed that "poetry is a pipe", Magritte ironically answers with "the treason of the images", a painting of a pipe to prove that it's neither poetry nor a true pipe.
La masque vide, de René Magritte (1928)
Técnica: óleo sobre tela
La trahison des images (ceci n'est pas un pipe), by René Magritte (1929)
Technique: oil on canvas

The shadows in his paintings come from Pliny the Elder's account on the origin of painting, found in his book "Natural History". He said that it all began when a young lady draw the shadow of her lover on the wall, before he left for the war. Thus, his figure remained always with her. Magritte takes this story and in his paintings, his figures are incomplete, to prove that painting is a fraud, because it does not show what it's real.  What the young lady drew was just the outline of her husband, but that will never be a true figure.
Le Double Secret, by René Magritte (1927)
Technique: oil on canvas.
Tentative de l'impossible, by René Magritte (1928)
Technique: oil on canvas
La belle captive, by René Magritte (1931)
Technique: oil on canvas
Les Promenades d’Euclide, by René Magritte (1955)
Technique: oil on canvas
Sigmund Freud described how the subconscious displays images related to the fears and fantasies of our conscience. The fabric that covers both heads in "The Lovers" is the same that covered Magritte's mother when she was taken out of the Sambre river, where she committed suicide. We know there are two hidden faces under the fabric, but we can not see them. Magritte shows us the absence of the face.
Les Amantes, by René Magritte (1928)
Technique: oil on canvas
The exhibition gathered several artworks borrowed by museums and collectors around the world. What has it demonstrated? Mainly Magritte's intellectual upbringing, his technical skill, and wide knowledge of History, Philosophy and Aesthetic. Although he made a living as a poster maker, because no one bought his paintings, he defined like no other the dialogue between words and images, images he surrender to his art, because, for Magritte, art is a process of reasoning. 

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Liliana Wrobel


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