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L’Homme au chapeau melon, 1964, oil on canvas, private collection, New York © VBK, Wien, 2005


René Magritte

06.04.2005 - 24.07.2005

La Trahison des images, 1928/29, oil on canvas, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, courtesy of Mr. and Mrs. William Preston Harrison collection © VBK, Wien, 2005Le Blanc–seing, 1965, oil on canvas, National Gallery of Art, Washington, collection Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon © VBK, Wien, 2005L’Empire des lumières, 1954, oil on canvas, Mr. and Mrs. Ahmet Ertegün © VBK, Wien, 2005

This exhibition, the first Magritte retrospective in Austria, gives an overview of the entire oeuvre of the great Belgian surrealist. Magritte’s magical-conceptual images from the 1920s through to the 1960s are used to illustrate both his dialogue with Dada and his key role as an inexhaustible source of inspiration for art after 1945, including Pop-Art and Concept Art.

Major works from international museums and numerous private collections shed new light on the artist, whose continuing importance is underlined by contemporary artistic trends. Inspired by Giorgio de Chirico's poetic vision, in the mid-1920s Magritte worked his way to creating his first original pictures. Moulded by his initial bread-and-butter job as a commercial artist, Magritte chose from the very beginning an objective and descriptive manner of painting that negated any personal expression. Within terms of this deliberately »anonymous« painting, whose outer inconspicuousness reflects Magritte's withdrawn and absolutely ordinary private life, the painter establishes –surreptitiously, as it were – an almost perfidious alienation from scenes and objects that at first sight seem conventional and everyday. Magritte plays with ill-matching proportions, incongruous juxtapositions and impossible object locations. Through this he seeks – as he does in his entire oeuvre – to awaken a second, coded reality behind things.


Christian Ludwig Attersee

02/09/2005 - 26/10/2005

previous exhibition


Willem de Kooning

13/01/2005 - 28/03/2005

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