René Magritte, Le fils de l'homme (Son of Man), 1964; oil on canvas; private collection; © Charly Herscovici, Brussels / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photo: Banque d'Images, ADAGP / Art Ressources, NY.
SAN FRANCISCO, CA.- René Magritte: The Fifth Season—presented exclusively at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art from May 19 through October 28, 2018—focuses on the latter half of Magritte’s career, from approximately 1943 to 1967, a period of remarkable transformation and revitalization for the artist. With loans from North and South America, Europe and Asia, it is the most complete presentation of Magritte’s late work mounted since the artist’s death in 1967. Including more than 20 artworks being shown for the first time in a U.S. museum, and the first concentrated examination of Magritte’s sunlit surrealism and gouaches in this country, René Magritte: The Fifth Season marks a major milestone in the artist’s exhibition history.
René Magritte, Les valeurs personnelles ( Personal Values), 1952; collection SFMOMA, purchase through a gift of Phyllis C. Wattis; © Charly Herscovici, Brussels / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.
ENCHANTED DOMAIN AND DOMINION OF LIGHT PRESENTATIONS
A key highlight of the exclusive SFMOMA presentation is a collection of five rarely seen canvases from The Enchanted Domain (1953), Magritte’s monumental 360-degree panorama and his largest work. The mural, 236 feet in circumference, was commissioned for a circular room in the Grand Casino in Knokke, Belgium. Magritte created eight oil paintings that established the design of the frieze on a 1:6 scale. With five paintings displayed continuously around a curved gallery wall, SFMOMA’s presentation is the first time in 40 years that this many of The Enchanted Domain works have been seen together in a museum exhibition.
Adjacent to The Enchanted Domain is an astounding selection of works entitled The Dominion of Light. Depicting nighttime landscapes with broad daylight skyscapes, the works in this series show day and night co-existing seamlessly in a scene that Magritte portrayed more than 20 times during his career. Until now, no more than three of these paintings have been exhibited together. This exhibition offers the first opportunity to experience the series simultaneously, in a fully immersive gallery with seven unique depictions, including two monumental canvases that have never previously left Europe.
René Magritte, Le domaine enchanté I (The Enchanted Domain I), 1953, Würth Collection, Künzelsau, Germany; © Charly Herscovici, Brussels / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photo: Banque d'Images, ADAGP / Art Ressources, NY.
MAGRITTE INTERPRETIVE GALLERY
A longtime leader in using digital content to engage audiences, SFMOMA embraces opportunities to experiment with creative approaches to museum education. Building on a legacy of unique interpretation that appeals to a wide range of learners and visitors, SFMOMA presents the Magritte Interpretive Gallery, in partnership with global design and strategy firm frog.
This gallery at the conclusion of René Magritte: The Fifth Season invites audiences to enter and experience Magritte's worlds and philosophies through six augmented reality interactions. Utilizing advanced depth-sensing cameras and motion-tracking technology to create an immersive environment, SFMOMA and frog enable visitors to investigate Magritte’s themes through a series of altered and augmented windows. In some, the windows function as digital mirrors in which the viewers’ reflections do not behave as expected. In others, the visitors’ presence in front of the window opens a portal into another reality. Looking past the two-dimensional plane, the Magritte Interpretive Gallery adds a third dimension in which human perception may be manipulated through motion, altered visuals and 3D software. The result is an experience that complements the exhibition, in which visitors can gain a deeper understanding of Magritte’s art, and explore visual perceptions of the world and each another.
René Magritte, L’Empire des lumières (Empire of Light), 1953–54, Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice; © Charly Herscovici, Brussels / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.
MAGRITTE AUDIO GUIDE
For René Magritte: The Fifth Season, SFMOMA’s Interpretive Media team has created a new audio guide available for both iPhone and Android users. Unconventional and impressionistic, the tour features conversational musings and insights from Caitlin Haskell and Gary Garrels, Elise S. Haas Senior Curator of Painting and Sculpture at SFMOMA, as well as artists Vija Celmins and Jeff Koons, and writer and personal friend of Magritte, Suzi Gablik. Devices will be available for rental, or visitors can download the experience at sfmoma.org/app.
René Magritte, La Grande Famille (The Great Family), 1963, Utsonomiya Museum of Art, Japan; © Charly Herscovici, Brussels / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photo: Banque d'Images, ADAGP / Art Ressources, NY.
René Magritte, L'heureux donateur (The happy donor), 1966, Musée d'Ixelles, Brussels; © Charly Herscovici, Brussels / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photo: © Community Museum of Ixelles.
René Magritte, Le monde invisible (Invisible World), 1954, The Menil Collection, Houston; © Charly Herscovici, Brussels / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photo: Hickey-Robertson, Houston.
René Magritte, La courbure de l'univers (The Curvature of the Universe), 1950, The Menil Collection, Houston; © Charly Herscovici, Brussels / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photo: Paul Hester.
René Magritte, La préméditation (Forethought), 1943, Koons Collection; © Charly Herscovici, Brussels / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.
René Magritte, Le tombeau des lutteurs (The Tomb of the Wrestlers), 1960; Private collection; © Charly Herscovici, Brussels / Artitsts Rights Society (ARS), New York.
René Magritte, Les promenades d'Euclide (Where Euclide Walked), 1955; Minnepolis Institute of Art, The William Hod Durnwoody Fund; © Charly Herscovici, Brussels / Artitsts Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photo Minnepolis Institute of Art