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Magritte: The Mystery of the Ordinary

 

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New York City, NY – Monday, November 11, 2013

“Everything we see hides another thing, we always want to see what is hidden by what we see.”  Rene Magritte

So, words of gossip trickled into my ear and I decided to check out The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) on a deliciously cold Friday evening (for those of you who don’t know: MoMA is free on Fridays from 4-8pm).  The queue was enormous, but, in true theme for the night… “things aren’t always what they seem”.  The line moved very quickly and the moment I stepped in, I raced up the escalators to see the exhibition of one of my artistic idols, Rene Magritte…

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…Only to be greeted by another line, the anticipation kept building.  When I was finally able to step in, I milked every second I could get.  Known for his thought-provoking surrealist works, Rene Magritte, a legendary Belgian artist who indulges in mystery and illusion, took the floor.

Attempting the Impossible1928

I was a fan since high school, so, seeing a collection of nearly a hundred works was particularly illuminating. Magritte got his start as a commercial artist in the advertising industry.  It was here, that he developed a flair for utilizing “text” in his work, among other stylistic skill-sets.

The Palace of Curtains

As I walked through the room from painting to painting, I was able to visibly experience Magritte evolve as an artist.  From his earlier days and explorations, to his fully matured state as a master of unconventional reality, the build-up to seeing those final pieces was much more gratifying in this set-up.

The Rape1934

Using his favorite techniques such as giving objects different names, mirroring, concealing and duplicating, Magritte had found a way to merge the themes of his life with techniques that impact viewers in the strongest way possible.

On The Threshold of Liberty

Focusing on showcasing familiar settings, Magritte removes a layer of the surface and makes the familiar, unfamiliar.

Time Transfixed1938
The Portrait1935

Everyday objects were displayed in a new way, challenging what we understand into mysterious associations, new perspectives and unusual takes of the usual.  I must have spent a solid twenty minutes on several pieces debating with a friend on the meaning behind the works.  This made the visit much more fulfilling.

Clairvoyance

The Rene Magritte exhibition at the MoMA wasn’t a fly-by situation, you really had to look and absorb the pieces, connect the dots, relate the titles, attach prior work thematics in order to understand the abstraction and appreciate Magritte.  Rene Magritte is filled with witty, distinguished artistry and something that I have always gravitated to: mystery.

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“We must not fear daylight just because it almost always illuminates a miserable world.” – Rene Magritte
 
The exhibit will be on display until January 12, 2014 on the 6th floor of The Museum of Modern Art.

Written by Laura West

About Laura West

Laura West
Laura West is an artist and writer based in NYC. She earned her BFA as a full scholarship recipient in Screenwriting and Studio Art at New York University. Laura has exhibited her Acrylic work in various shows across the city and was most recently interviewed on RTN (Russian Television Network) as well as several magazines, one based in the Netherlands. Check out her work here: www.lgwest.com

One comment

  1. Love Magritte, Love the Article! Well done, Laura!

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