René Magritte, The treachery of images (This is not a pipe), 1929
Stephanie Barron, Modern Art, LACMA
Michel Draguet, Director Musée Royaux de Bruxelles
From the museum website
Magritte and Contemporary Art: The Treachery of Images is the first major exhibition to explore the impact of Belgian surrealist artist René Magritte’s (1898-1967) work on U.S. and European artists of the post-war generation. Featuring sixty-eight paintings and drawings by Magritte, including many international loans of his signature works, and sixty-eight works in diverse media by thirty-one contemporary artists such as Richard Artschwager, John Baldessari, Vija Celmins, Robert Gober, Jasper Johns, Jeff Koons, Ed Ruscha, and Andy Warhol, the exhibition examines the different and sometimes unconscious ways that pop, conceptual, and post-modern sensibilities have referenced Magritte’s ideas and imagery. In addition, the exhibition installation is specially designed by conceptual artist John Baldessari and includes an inventive presentation that is playful and humorous, yet provides a deep visual understanding of Magritte’s work. Magritte and Contemporary Art: The Treachery of Images is on view at LACMA from November 19, 2006, through March 4, 2007, and will not travel to other venues.
Co-curated by Stephanie Barron, LACMA Senior Curator of Modern Art, and Michel Draguet, Director of the Musées Royaux des Beaux-Arts de Belgique, with cooperation from the Magritte Foundation, Magritte and Contemporary Art: The Treachery of Images goes beyond overt analogies between the work of Magritte and contemporary artists to explore the more idiosyncratic and subtle connections of visual, thematic, and philosophical references. Looking at works in a range of media from a number of decades, the exhibition reveals the ways in which Magritte’s visual vocabulary and artistic strategies have seeped into our culture, and demonstrates how his subversive juxtaposition of words and images, flat painting style, and constant exploration of perception have profoundly affected subsequent generations of artists. The exhibition features works by contemporary artists Eleanor Antin, Art and Language, Richard Artschwager, John Baldessari, Mel Bochner, Marcel Broodthaers, Vija Celmins, Robert Gober, Philip Guston, Douglas Huebler, Jasper Johns, Ray Johnson, Mike Kelley, Martin Kippenberger, Jeff Koons, Joseph Kosuth, Barbara Kruger, Sherrie Levine, Roy Lichtenstein, Claes Oldenburg, Raymond Pettibon, Sigmar Polke, Richard Prince, Robert Rauschenberg, Charles Ray, James Rosenquist, Ed Ruscha, David Salle, Jim Shaw, Andy Warhol, and Lawrence Weiner.
At the center of the exhibition is LACMA’s Magritte masterpiece — The Treachery of Images (This Is Not a Pipe), (1929) — a seminal painting and popular cultural icon.