“The image that resists all explanation” – Part 1

Only 2 hours journey by Eurostar and Adrian and I are able to pay a visit to the city of Brussles and its Musee Margitte Museum. 

The legacy of the famous surrealist Rene Margitte is explicitly presented in the life of the Belgian capital. A few building around the Grand Palace have his well-known objects painted on their walls. Many shops sell gifts and art items with Margitte’s signature images. The museum of his works is very well attended by an international crowd.
It opened on 2nd June 2009. Its creation was result of the enthusiasm, efforts and  professionalism of the Belgian state and Belgian economical, art and civil community. 
This devotion to treasure the national art heritage and made it available for the public its not specifically Belgian or European. 
The same cultural ambitions I have experienced in Chicago. The Modern Wing of the Art Institute designed by Renzo Piano and also opened in 2009 contains at least 11 Margate’s canvases and drawings including the famous “Time transfixed”1938.
However, the Museum in Brussels has the biggest world-leading collection of works by Margitte . It is situated in the renovated Hotel Altenloh on The Place Royale. 
The Museum has an unusual structure. The exhibition is spread on three floors and the tour starts from the top floor. 

The paintings are accompanied by lifeline explanations and photographs.The visitors can read  Margate’s own words in French and see many drawings, posters, book illustrations, photographs and even movies. 
It is a very well thought-out and organised museum. The gift shop sells pleasant items. Despite the overwhelming visiting crowd the museum still excludes  a sense of space. 
The only big disadvantage is that there is no cafe on the premises. I hope this issue will be soon attended to. 
That leaves us with only one thing – to enjoy the unexplainable world of Rene Margitte. 
I often hear that everything in art has already been created. 
This argument does have a point yet I do not think it applies to really talented artists. 
Their artistic style is unmistakably unique and visionary, art to be followed. 
Let’s look at some of the painting of Rene Margitte and their contemporary resonance:
In 1927 Margate painted “The female Tief” and the “Man from the Sea” – two canvases from his “black period” when he constructed his “ enigmatic visual world”. 
Nearly 100 years later see what appears:
The canvas “The Secret Player” was created in 1927. 
Again, 96 years later,  in 2020 we had the global Covid pandemic.
Could you recognise the crises – a woman wearing a mask, a frightening flying black turtle in the sky, skittles turning into trees, and a losing team?
“Great expectations”1940. 
The grounded, stable, even reassuringly round trees could present ambitions rooted in “community and creativity, with goals like feeling connected whole and healthy”.
And the highly ambitious, skinny and unstable tree with a few leaves but reaching for the sky.
To be continued….

No comment yet, add your voice below!

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *