René Magritte (Or: The Rule of Metaphor) at Luxembourg & Dayan, London | BLOUIN ARTINFO
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René Magritte (Or: The Rule of Metaphor) at Luxembourg & Dayan, London

“La clef des songes,” 1927, by René Magritte (1898-1967, Belgium), Oil on canvas, 15 x 21⅝ in (38 x 55 cm.), Bpk / Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen, © ADAGP, Paris and DACS, London 2018, Luxemberg & Dayan
(Courtesy: Luxembourg & Dayan)

Luxembourg & Dayan at London is dedicating an exhibition to the development of Magritte’s word-pictures during his years in Paris from 1927-30.

The paintings from the period words are made of the same material substance as images. Just like an image can take the place of a word, and an abstract form can take the place of an image, an abstract form can take the place of a word, thereby encouraging viewers’ imagination to compensate for the missing links and allow them to seek new ways of using language. While Magritte’s interest in, and use of language in his work has always been the subject of discussion, this exhibition seeks to highlight the evolution and development of his word-pictures in the context of their metaphorical function; as figurative, and even abstract gestures that stand in for conceptual tropes, forcing the recipient of the message to complete an unbridgeable gap using their imagination. The highlight of the exhibition is the unmatched ability Magritte shows in reciprocal exchange between images and words, as well as his ability to set up unresolved situations where the viewer is encouraged to participate in the process of decoding the message, are fundamental to the understanding of a wide tendency in contemporary art practices to lend the authorial agency to the viewer.

Rene Magritte was an internationally acclaimed surrealist artist of all time, yet it was not until his 1950s, when he was finally able to reach some form of fame and recognition for his work. Rene Magritte described his paintings saying, “My painting is visible images which conceal nothing; they evoke mystery and, indeed, when one sees one of my pictures, one asks oneself this simple question, “What does that mean?” It does not mean anything, because mystery means nothing, it is unknowable.”

Since opening in 2009, Luxembourg & Dayan has held a number of critically-acclaimed exhibitions by modern and contemporary artists across gallery spaces in New York and in London. “Rene Magritte (Or: the Rule of Metaphor)” continues a series of in-depth exhibition studies produced in recent years, each dedicated to a crucial moment in the artistic evolution of a pivotal 20th century artist, such as Alberto Giacometti’s early sculptures from the late 1920s and early 1930s (London, 2016), the effects of Hans Arp’s transition from Paris to Zurich in 1916 on his practice (London, 2012), or the adoption of the readymade into Marcel Duchamp’s practice in the mid-1910s (New York, 2009), to name but a few. The exhibition is accompanied by a fully-illustrated catalog.

The exhibition is on view through May 25, 2018 at Luxembourg & Dayan, 2 Savile Row London W1s 3pa, UK.

For details, visit:

Click on the slideshow for a sneak peek at the exhibition.                                              

Founder Louise Blouin