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The Museum of Modern Art to show Magritte: The Mystery of the Ordinary, 1926–1938

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The Museum of Modern Art announces Magritte: The Mystery of the Ordinary, 1926–1938, from September 28, 2013, to January 12, 2014, the first exhibition to focus exclusively on the breakthrough Surrealist years of René Magritte (Belgian, 1898–1967), creator of some of the 20th century’s most extraordinary images. Bringing together around 80 paintings, collages, and objects, along with a selection of photographs, periodicals, and early commercial work, the exhibition offers fresh insight into Magritte’s identity as a modern painter and Surrealist artist. In addition to works from MoMA’s collection, the exhibition includes many loans from public and private collections from the U.S. and abroad. Magritte: The Mystery of the Ordinary, 1926–1938 is organized by The Museum of Modern Art, The Menil Collection, and The Art Institute of Chicago. The exhibition at MoMA is organized by Anne Umland, The Blanchette Hooker Rockefeller Curator of Painting and Sculpture, with Danielle Johnson, Curatorial Assistant, Department of Painting and Sculpture.

The exhibition travels to The Menil Collection, Houston (February 14–June 1, 2014), and The Art Institute of Chicago (June 29–October 12, 2014).

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 exhibition traces central strategies and themes from the most inventive and experimental period in the artist’s prolific career. Displacement, doubling, metamorphosis, the “misnaming” of objects, and the representation of visions seen in half-waking states are among Magritte’s innovative image-making tactics during these essential years.

Noted works in the exhibition include

The Menaced Assassin (L’Assassin menacé) (1927),

The Lovers (Les Amants) (1928),

The False Mirror (Le Faux Miroir) (1928),

The Treachery of Images (La Trahison des images) (1929),

The Human Condition (La Condition humaine) (1933),

The Interpretation of Dreams (La Clef des songes) (1935),

Clairvoyance (La Clairvoyance) (1936),

and Time Transfixed (La Durée poignardée) (1938).

The exhibition will be accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue.

The Museum of Modern Art, 11 West 53 Street, New York, NY 10019, (212) 708-9400, MoMA.org. Hours: Saturday through Thursday, 10:30 a.m.–5:30 p.m. Friday, 10:30 a.m.–8:00 p.m.

For more on Magritte see here

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