Comprising some 100 works, many never before seen in the UK, René Magritte: The Pleasure Principle offers a thematic tour through the work of the great Belgian Surrealist.
Comprising some 100 works, many never before seen in the UK, René Magritte: The Pleasure Principle offers a thematic tour through the work of the great Belgian Surrealist. His well-known image-text paintings, men in bowler hats and double portraits are just the beginning of an exhibition that encompasses his erotic works and commercial designs. Also included are rarely-seen paintings from Magritte's provocative 'vache' period, in which he flirted with crude, 'bad' technique, scandalising the Paris art world. Both photography and rare home movie footage will help place these works in context, fleshing out Magritte's relationships with his fellow Surrealists.Magritte famously claimed that 'there is very little difference between seeing a work in reproduction and looking at the real thing'. It was an attitude that informed not only his art, but his commercial work, and the relationship between these two worlds is developed in the broad scope of this exhibition. Magritte's early experience as a designer of wallpaper and fashion advertisements, can be seen in his graphic style and tendency to appropriate pre-existing images into his work.Magritte's deliberate ignoring of the divide between commercial and artistic forms is symptomatic of the wilfulness of his art. It was his refusal to accept the boundaries between illusion and reality that transformed a talented draughtsman and advertising designer into the master Surrealist 'creator of images' we celebrate today.