Blain Di Donna will present as its inaugural exhibition, "Dangerous Liaisons", a survey of paintings, works on paper and objects by the Belgian Surrealist René Magritte, on view October 28-December 1.
Bringing together more than twenty five major oils, gouaches and drawings, this is the first Magritte show of this scale to be presented in New York in almost fifteen years, and comes at a time of renewed interest in Surrealism and its key exponents.
The exhibition’s title is derived from Magritte’s seminal early work, "Les Liaisons dangereuses," 1935, an enigmatic painting thought to have been inspired by the Eighteenth Century French novel of the same name, in which two rival lovers deploy sex as a weapon to humiliate others. As with many of the works in the artist’s oeuvre, it delights and disturbs in equal measure; it underlines his unsettling ability to pull at the threads of philosophical and psychological certainties, and in doing so eloquently sets the tone of the exhibition as a whole.
Also included is "La Trahison des images," 1952, Magritte’s best known painting and one of the great propositions of Modern art; a smoking pipe rests on a wooden background under which ‘Ceci n’est pas une pipe’ is inscribed on a plaque, posing the question: how can we really believe what we see and what role does perception play in our comprehension of reality?
Equally recognizable is "Le Goût de l’invisible," 1964, in which an apple engulfs the face of a bowler-hatted man, while "L’Empire des lumières," 1954, presents one of the artist’s most celebrated and popular subjects, and is characteristically an iconic image and a visual paradox. This large-scale enigmatic painting explores phenomena including the coexistence of day and night, the nocturnal landscape and the skyscape, and the interplay of lightness and darkness.
A selection of Magritte’s best work in gouache accompanies these masterpieces, and the drawings demonstrate his brilliance as a draughtsman, offering a rare insight into this aspect of his artistic practice.
"Dangerous Liasons" will be accompanied by an illustrated catalog.