July 13, 2011

Rene Magritte

For several years now, Rene Magritte has been my favorite surrealist painter. I have always been a fan of Picasso and Dali, but while studying their work, I came across some images that took me to a deeper place. Magritte's "less is more" style speaks to my appreciation of the meaning behind the image. His work looks more contemporary, almost photographic, when compared with Picasso's oils. 

I stumbled upon an excellent article that goes into his paradoxical character: 

Then I found this:

If you know his work, you get the joke. As described in the article linked above, it is referencing Magritte's pipe paintings that have contradictory statements below a picture of a pipe. Personally, I like this work because it reminds me of what I like from both Dali and Magritte. 

Every year or so, I get back to Chicago to visit family, do some business, and hit some favorite sights. The one thing I absolutely do not miss when I'm in town is a visit to The Art Institute. Two years ago, I was there when the Contemporary wing was being revamped. :-( Alas, my visit centered around Van Gogh and Seurat. Last year, I was able to sneak a day on the way back from Michigan and go alone for an entire afternoon while the kids wandered down to see The Bean and the LEGO store.

When I first entered the wing, I was faced with Picasso's Old Guitarist directly in front of my face! It was amazing, but I will save that for another post. The last thing I saw in the first major room, was this:

Time Transfixed

At the time I wasn't sure what took my breath away- the convincing 3D effect, or the sheer size of the piece. I never expected this to be so large! Naturally my own Artist's mind immediately attempted to comprehend the logistics of such an enormous undertaking. It had to be three feet wide and five feet high. For someone who rarely does work larger than a piece of A4 printer stock, it was truly astounding. 

Another of my favorites is Golconde:

Every time I see this work, it makes me giggle inside my head as it immediately conjures the song "It's Raining Men." LOL I had this on my desktop at work for a while and I must have spent countless lunch hours looking at the various men and wondering what technique he used to get them all looking so identical. It reminds me of CGI and how we can now click a mouse and add 120 people to a background image. Magritte had to do each of these with a paintbrush. Amazing. 

I will leave you with a few more pictures that I prefer from his collection...

Personal Values


The Telegraph

I hope you will take time with each image and let it speak to you in it's own voice. It is simply amazing what being exposed to new artwork can do for your soul...

Art every day~

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