By the end of the 1920s René Magritte had established his signature approach to painting, developing a realistic style that he used not to reinforce, but to undermine the viewer’s acceptance of what is real. He continued to paint seriously until the end of his life in 1967, his reputation expanding in tandem with the increasing visibility and popularity of Surrealism in the United States. During the post‐war period, Magritte often revisited and reinterpreted themes from earlier paintings, creating variations on his already established iconography. At the same time, he continued to develop new imagery that became some of his most recognizable motifs. These include subjects like the bowler‐hatted man in Golconda, and the landscape in which daylight and evening coincide in The Dominion of Light, 1954, one of over twenty variations he made on the theme starting in 1949.
Curated by Menil Director Josef Helfenstein and Assistant Curator Clare Elliott, Memories of a Voyage: The Late Work of René Magritte brings together approximately 12‐15 works dating from 1941–1967. Oil paintings will be shown alongside seldom‐seen preparatory drawings. The exhibition will also showcase gouaches‐ a medium Magritte relied on more and more heavily during this period, as well as a pair of rare painted bottles, only about 25 of which are known to be extant.
The artworks featured in “Memories of a Voyage: The Late Work of René Magritte” are drawn primarily from the Menil Collection’s deep holdings of the artist’s work, which are rivaled only by those of the Musée Magritte in Brussels. The exhibition is presented simultaneously with Magritte: The Mystery of the Ordinary: 1926–1938 a project focused on the formative years of Magritte’s career. Visitors will therefore have a rare opportunity to experience the full scope of the artist’s career.
This exhibition is generously supported by Frost Bank; Skadden, Arps; and the City of Houston. - From www.menil.org