Tim Marlow TV - Andrew Graham-Dixon TV - Great Artists In Their Own Words TV - Rene Magrite - Perspectives TV - Matthew Collings TV -
The great Belgium surrealist Rene Magritte has struck a popular chord now for well over half a century. In his dead-pan seemingly straightforward style of painting the world seems turned inside-out, on its head, creating a space where the mundane somehow becomes extraordinary and the impossible somehow possible. His works are amongst the most iconic in the twentieth century and yet they still remain strangely elusive. Tim Marlow on ... Rene Magritte: The Pleasure Principle
Born in 1898 in Belgium Rene Magritte emerged, along with Salvador Dali, as perhaps the most famous of a group of artists that called themselves surrealists. ibid.
They sought nothing less than a revolution of the human mind. ibid.
In works like The Lovers and The Menaced Assassin he manages to convey paradoxically the idea of calmness and violence, of intimacy and isolation, and manages also to introduce for the first time the concept of suspense in twentieth century painting. ibid.
The utter inadequacy of language: The Treachery of Images 1935 [This is not a pipe]: In one of his most celebrated series here in English, but made originally in French at the end of the 1920s, Magritte paints a pipe almost in the manner of illustrated text or catalogue, and then proclaims: This is not a pipe ... Words have no necessary connection to the objects they denote. ibid.
The Reckless Sleeper: In a way it could also be his epitaph. I’ve always been drawn to this painting ... It deals nebulously with the idea of dreams and death and the void. ibid.
The Human Condition 1933: he shows a window with an easel in front of it seemingly with the view that we would see through the window depicted on the canvas. ibid.
The anonymous self-portraiture of the bowler-hatted men and indeed the other hidden portraits where the face is obscured by an apple or a bunch of flowers reveal as much through what is missing through absence as the photographs do, more in fact. ibid.
The Pleasure Principle 1937: the face has been replaced by an explosion of light from the camera flash. ibid.
Time Transfixed 1938: Magritte’s collision of a train and a fireplace in an elegant London living room. ibid.
A wonderful sense of humour and skewed logic. ibid.
The Dominion of Light 1950: it show a nocturnal street scene but bathed in the glorious sunlight of an afternoon. ibid.
Magritte is popular but not as revered as he might be. That he’s not widely considered to be a front-ranked twentieth century artist, and yet the list of those who have admired him and owned his work ... is substantial. ibid.
Seriously underrated ... Magritte would actually have it no other way. ibid.
The Reckless Sleeper 1928: This is something akin to visual collage. Tim Marlow on ... The New Tate Modern
Man with a Newspaper 1928: A subversion of a comic strip where the four views seem similar but actually not quite the same ... Like an endlessly repeating dream. ibid.
The Future of Statues 1937: A copy of Napoleon’s death mask painted to look like a sky ... A man with his head in the clouds. ibid.
Magritte seems to place us on the threshold of another world. Andrew Graham-Dixon, The High Art of the Low Countries III: Daydreams and Nightmares, BBC 2013
Magritte: ‘We are all a mystery.’ Great Artists in Their Own Words I: The Future is Now 1907-1939, BBC 2013
Art evokes the mystery without which the world would not exist. Rene Magritte
Everything we see hides another thing, we always want to see what is hidden by what we see. There is an interest in that which is hidden and which the visible does not show us. This interest can take the form of a quite intense feeling, a sort of conflict, one might say, between the visible that is hidden and the visible that is present. Rene Magritte
He is responsible for making the bowler hat one of the most iconic images of the twentieth century. Perspectives: The Man in the Hat, ITV 2014
This Belgium surrealist lived quietly in a suburb of Brussels, dressed like a banker and married his childhood sweetheart. ibid.
By the end of the 1950s Magritte was famous and wealthy. ibid.
Magritte’s joke is the joke of the wrong label … but it is beautiful in a way. Matthew Collings, This is Modern Art V: Hollow Laughter, Channel 4 1999