René Magritte
Belgian, 1898-1967
High auction record
$21m, Christie's, 2017
Collected by major museums
Tate, Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA)
Selected exhibitions
Facing the Future: Art in Europe 1945-68,
Centre for Fine Arts (BOZAR)
René Magritte: La trahison des images,
Centre Pompidou
Magritte: The Mystery of the Ordinary, 1926 - 1938,
Art Institute of Chicago

With his highly cerebral Surrealist imagery, René Magritte breathed new life into seemingly conventional subject matter. He often painted everyday objects out of context, in juxtapositions forcing the viewer to reconsider things normally taken for granted. In his iconic trompe l’oeil work The Treachery of Images (1928-29), for example, Magritte painted a hyperrealistic pipe and wrote, just beneath it, “this is not a pipe”—a caution not to trust our eyes and reminder that the art object, no matter how convincing, is not the real thing. Magritte’s highly figurative style of Surrealism is often discussed along the work of Salvador Dalí and Giorgio de Chirico, and his persistent interrogation of objects has both influenced and paved the way for seminal artistic movements, from Conceptualism to Pop art.

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