René Magritte (Or: The Rule of Metaphor)
The three years that Magritte spent in Paris, between 1927 and 1930, provided the foundation for his unique philosophical enquiry into the limits of pictorial representation. During these years, Magritte produced over forty paintings and collages, known today as the pivotal ‘word-paintings’ cycle. Accounting for this body of work, Magritte explained that he was seeking to expand the possibilities of language and to cancel some of the differences between pictorial and literal modes of communication. “In a picture”, he insisted, “words are of the same substance as images”.
While there has been much discussion about Magritte’s use of language in his work, this catalogue seeks to examine Magritte’s word-paintings through a different lens, that of their metaphorical function. Magritte’s reciprocal exchange between images and words is highlighted, as well as his ability to set up supposedly ‘unresolved’ situations in which the viewer is encouraged to participate in the process of decoding the message. This form of investigation, we argue, has become fundamental to a wide range of practices in contemporary art that question the relationship between art and language, and do so by lending the viewer more authorial agency.
Published on the occasion of the exhibition René Magritte (Or: The Rule of Metaphor), held at Luxembourg & Dayan, London, in 2018, this catalogue includes a curatorial essay by Yuval Etgar, a reprint of Friedrich Nietzsche’s famous essay ‘On Truth and Lies in a Non-Moral Sense’ (1896), and a series of eleven elaborated notes on exhibited works, including: La Clef Des Songes (1927), Le Genre Nocturne (1928), and L’usage de la parole (1928), among others.
18 x 23 cm. (7 x 10 in.)