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Magritte worked in a wallpaper factory, and was a poster and advertisement designer until 1926 when a contract with Galerie la Centaure in Brussels made it possible for him to paint full-time.

In 1926, Magritte produced his first surrealist painting, Le jockey perdu, and held his first exhibition in Brussels in 1927. Critics heaped abuse on the exhibition. Depressed by the failure, he moved to Paris where he became friends with André Breton, and became involved in the surrealist group.

When Galerie la Centaure closed and the contract income ended, he returned to Brussels and worked in advertising. Then, with his brother, he formed an agency, which earned him a living wage.

A consummate technician, his work frequently displays a juxtaposition of ordinary objects, or an unusual context, giving new meanings to familiar things. The representational use of objects as other than what they seem is typified in his painting, The Betrayal Of Images (La trahison des images), which shows a pipe that looks as though it is a model for a tobacco store advertisement. Magritte painted below the pipe, This is not a pipe (Ceci n'est pas une pipe), which seems a contradiction, but means that the image of the pipe is not itself a pipe. (In his book, This Is Not a Pipe, French critic Michel Foucault discusses the painting and its paradox. )

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Magritte worked in a wallpaper factory, and was a poster and advertisement designer until 1926 when a contract with Galerie la Centaure in Brussels made it possible for him to paint full-time.

In 1926, Magritte produced his first surrealist painting, Le jockey perdu, and held his first exhibition in Brussels in 1927. Critics heaped abuse on the exhibition. Depressed by the failure, he moved to Paris where he became friends with André Breton, and became involved in the surrealist group.

When Galerie la Centaure closed and the contract income ended, he returned to Brussels and worked in advertising. Then, with his brother, he formed an agency, which earned him a living wage.

A consummate technician, his work frequently displays a juxtaposition of ordinary objects, or an unusual context, giving new meanings to familiar things. The representational use of objects as other than what they seem is typified in his painting, The Betrayal Of Images (La trahison des images), which shows a pipe that looks as though it is a model for a tobacco store advertisement. Magritte painted below the pipe, This is not a pipe (Ceci n'est pas une pipe), which seems a contradiction, but means that the image of the pipe is not itself a pipe. (In his book, This Is Not a Pipe, French critic Michel Foucault discusses the painting and its paradox. ) More...

 
    René Magritte, Belgian Surrealist Artist
  René Magritte, Belgian Surrealist Artist
René François Ghislain Magritte was a Belgian surrealist artist. He became well known for creating a number of witty and thought-provoking images. Often depicting ordinary objects in an unusual context, his work is known for challenging observers' pr...
 
       
 
         
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