René Magritte heralds the opening of the new 2,500-square-foot Blain Di Donna gallery on the second floor of the Carlyle Hotel, which presents an exhibition of 25 drawings, sculptures and paintings by the Belgian Surrealist, Oct. 28-Dec. 1, 2011. Called “Dangerous Liaisons,” the show takes its title, naturally, from Magritte’s Les Liaisons Dangereuse, his1935 split-subject painting of a nude woman holding a mirror that reflects her backside. But the hallmark of the exhibition might be the artist’s famous “This is not a pipe” pipe painting, La Trahison des images, 1952. Also on view are paintings Le Goût de l’invisible, 1964, and L’Empire des lumières, 1954.
Heading the gallery, which is to specialize in secondary-market modern and contemporary art, is U.K.-born art dealer Harry Blain and former Sotheby’s vice chairman Emmanuel Di Donna. Blain co-founded Haunch of Venison gallery in 2002 with Graham Southern, a former director of Christie’s, which purchased the gallery in 2007. Both partners left in 2010 to open Blain Southern gallery in London, which represents Mat Collishaw and Bill Viola, among others. They have since opened an outpost of their gallery in Berlin.
Blain and Di Donna began operating their joint venture without an exhibition space late last year, and now plan to install three exhibitions annually. The recently renovated space houses two galleries, a private viewing room and two storage areas.