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How surreal: early Magritte explored at MOMA

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How surreal: early Magritte explored at MOMA

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René Magritte is perhaps best known for images of blue skies and bowler hats, but a new exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in New York looks at his early career between 1926 and 1938.

Anne Umland, the curator of the exhibition, explained: “I think Magritte is an artist that just about everybody knows, but they don’t often know that they do. His images of cloud filled eyes or of bowler hatted men have so permeated our popular culture, particularly the advertising industry, that his name gets lost in the shuffle. What this show aims to do is to recapture those images for Magritte and to look closely at his breakthrough period when those images of skies, eyes, bowler hatted men first stepped into the picture of his art.”

The exhibition traces central strategies and themes such as displacement, transformation, metamorphosis, the “misnaming” of objects, and the representation of visions seen in half-waking states.

Magritte: The Mystery of the Ordinary, 1926–1938 runs until January 2014.

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