The Magritte Machine

The exhibition The Magritte Machine at the Museo Nacional Thyssen-Bornemisza is the first retrospective on René Magritte (1898-1967) to be held in Madrid since the event organised by the Fundación Juan March in 1989. After its Madrid showing it will travel to the CaixaForum in Barcelona.

The exhibition’s title refers to its focus on the systematic element present in the work of this great Surrealist painter, who repeatedly and obsessively returned to his major themes, albeit with unexpected variations: words and images, figure and background, the painting and the mirror, animal camouflage, alteration of scale, and finally the face and the mask.

Since the idea of automating creative work came about, the painter, René Magritte, also fantasised with a catalogue of devices designed to automate thought and creation processes, which included a universal machine to make paintings.  Now, the Thyssen-Bornemisza National Museum will reveal the functioning of this imaginary machine in this exhibition.

Known for his ingenious and provocative images, the Belgian surrealist painter used his work to try and change the preconditioned perception of reality and force the observer to become hypersensitive to his/her surroundings.

This retrospective will be organised into six chapters, corresponding to the repertoire of interconnected devices that make up the “Magritte Machine”: the museum, as an instruments that catalogues and exhibits; the silhouette, as a device that cuts and fills; the window, which frames and covers; the mechanism that alters the size and weight; the mimicry, that enables camouflage within the environment, and the mask, that removes and projects the face. 

Curated by Guillermo Solana, the museum’s artistic director, the exhibition brings together 70 works, including paintings and works on paper, together with a selection of photographs and films.

When: From 14 September 2021 to 30 January 2022

Times: Tues – Sun: 10am – 7pm / Sat: 10am – 9pm / Closed: Mondays

Prices: General Entrance Fee: € 13 / Reduced Entrance Fee: € 9

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