Based on Magritte's own vision of his artistic lineage, Life Line traces the "disturbing poetic effect" of his paintings
In 1938, René Magritte delivered a lecture entitled “La Ligne de vie” (“The Life Line”) in Antwerp—one of the rare occasions in which the artist talked about his work in public. During the hour-long lecture, he illustrated, with the aid of slides, the evolution of his work, and revealed the techniques that had allowed him to create images characterized by what he called a “disturbing poetic effect.” Following the thread laid out by Magritte in that lecture, this catalog retraces the artist’s career from its beginnings, featuring over 90 of his works alongside others by artists such as Giorgio de Chirico and Max Ernst, whom Magritte named as among his influences during his early years. René Magritte: Life Line takes up the ideas Magritte expressed about his work and extends them, exploring how the artist’s approach to creation allowed him to find ever-new sources of inspiration and to produce works of outstanding poetic force right up to the end of his life. The most celebrated Belgian artist of the 20th century, René Magritte (1898–1967) is best known for his hyper-illusionistic Surrealist paintings that explore the relationship between image, language and reality. “It is a union that suggests the essential mystery of the world,” Magritte said of his strategy of staging strange juxtapositions of objects. “Art for me is not an end in itself, but a means of evoking that mystery.”
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