8.54.9 2022

René Magritte

A Laboratory of Ideas

René Magritte’s enigmatic, surrealistic world of images, where given truths and our habitual ideas are questioned, will be presented during the summer of 2022 at The Nordic Watercolour Museum. For René Magritte, works on paper were a source of pleasure and he used them as a laboratory to develop his ideas. Unlike his oil paintings, which required meticulousness and patience, the paper was a medium where he could give his ideas free rein. The sketches he drew in his letters or on notepapers spawned his imagery. His ideas emerged in his correspondence. His commercial illustrations taught him to judge the effect of visual images. The gouache technique allowed him to paint different versions of existing oil paintings in order to continue his explorations of everyday objects.

Magritte’s works on paper is rarely examined, even though they support his paintings. Knowing more about them makes it much easier to understand how his ideas evolved.

The latest Magritte exhibition in Sweden took place in 1967, a few months after he died. At last, fifty-five years later, the exhibition René Magritte: A Laboratory of Ideas at The Nordic Watercolour Museum will give the Swedish public a new opportunity to discover the Belgian master of Surrealism through a chronological and thematic approach. The exhibition will comprise nearly 250 works, some of which have never been shown to the public. Letters, drawings, gouaches, documents, commercial work and films will be shown under different themes, thus to best enlighten Magritte’s method of working. By studying this wide array of disparate works, visitors will be able to unravel the secrets of the painter of mystery.

The exhibition is curated by the two Magritte specialists Julie Waseige and Xavier Canonne, and is created in collaboration with La Fondation Magritte.