Hello! Our team is busy finalising preparations for our summer exhibition René Magritte: The Pleasure Principle, which opens at Tate Liverpool on 24 June.
In case you don’t know, Magritte was a Belgian Surrealist painter known for his mysterious imagery which combines the banal with the strange for disturbing effect. His work conjures improbable worlds - gigantic room-filling apples, a rain of ‘anonymous’ bowler-hatted men, paintings visualising paradoxical realities where night coincides with day.
So what do we know about Magritte? He was something of an enigma - a painter who described the act of painting as ‘boring’. He was a man of routine whose life was ordered by the watch. One collector we met who knew Magritte described him as a man of few words, a ‘simple man’. Yet as our exhibition shows, he was a profoundly serious man, his imagery confounding and mesmerising in its complexity. His poetic imaginings aimed to revolutionise our conception of everyday reality.
Having spent two years living with Magritte’s work, we think there’s still much to discover about this fascinating artist. He has certainly influenced generations of artists and his work is more relevant than ever. In fact, his imagery has become part of a shared visual consciousness, informing the language of film and popular culture. Our exhibition aims to provide a fresh look at Magritte- going beyond the surface, beyond popular conceptions of the artist. We’re presenting the works thematically, emphasising Magritte’s main artistic preoccupations and compositional approaches. We’re delighted to have secured the loan of so many stunning paintings - including some absolute icons. These will be brought together with a rich selection of his little-known photographs, home movies and commercial art, shedding fresh light on his life and work.
We’ll be blogging regularly during the exhibition along with other members of the Tate Liverpool team who have also worked on René Magritte: The Pleasure Principle. We’d love to know what you think about our exhibition, and hope you can contribute to the blogs being posted to accompany the exhibition.