Thursday, May 21, 2009

A New Magritte Museum

this sketch has been etched out of the white washed window front
of a shop under renovation, a few blocks from the museum
Yesterday, with great fanfare, a spectacular new art museum, devoted to René Magritte, the Musée Magritte Museum, officially opened in Brussels. Situated on Place Royale in the heart of the art and antique district, and an extension to the Brussels Royal art museum (filled with work from his illustrious Belgium colleagues), the Magritte Museum has gripped the city. Everywhere you look you find Magritte symbolism, which is not only amusing, but also creates the feeling that Magritte is amongst us, chuckling to himself ... Ceci n'est pas une musée… as you bite into an apple green macaron.

My personal introduction to Magritte was The Empire of Light II, hanging in the MOMA . Hanging next to a Salvidor Dali, I returned over and over again, week after week, in disbelief, trying to absorb the contrast of the magnificently painted blue sky and the lamppost lighting the dark street. The perfection was surreal and impossible to fit into my natural world. Permanently etched into my memory, the effect of this one painting, had such a demanding presence, even though it was a comparatively small work, in the far side of a large room filled with a stunning assortment of art, that I wonder if a whole museum devoted only to this artist, will make the same powerful impression? It will be a different kind of experience (the museum opens to the public in June) and why not, isn't that art?


fröken lila said...

i just love magritte. his work is truly amazing, very inspiring and always gives me new things to think about..

Nancy said...

isn't it wonderful when an artist opens new windows!

Barry said...

I too found that out of the many incredible paintings in MOMA, I remember this one most fondly. Unfortunately pictures don't do it justice! The contrast in lighting between sky and foreground are mesmerizing in person.

Nancy said...

Thanks for your thoughts Barry, which I share.