Opening of the exhibition Dalí & Magritte and the 10th anniversary of the Magritte Museum

Published on 17.10.2019

From 11 October 2019 until 9 February 2020, the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium dedicate an exceptional exhibition to Salvador Dalí and René Magritte. Ninety years after their first meeting, this exhibition explores for the first time the personal, philosophical, and aesthetic connections between the two greatest icons of the surrealist movement. Through more than hundred paintings, sculptures, drawings and photographs, Dalí & Magritte reveals the play of influence, dialogue, and rivalry that shaped their relationship. More than 40 international museums and private collections have lent their masterpieces for this unique event.

The exhibition is part of the festivities organised around the 10th anniversary of the Magritte Museum, which has welcomed more than 3 million visitors since 2009. To celebrate this special anniversary, American artist Joseph Kosuth – pioneer of the conceptual art movement – is presenting an original work in the Magritte Museum. The monumental work - measuring 3.40m by 10m - is inaugurated this Thursday, October 10, 2019, in the presence of the artist.

The exhibition Dalí & Magritte

Salvador Dalí and René Magritte first met in the spring of 1929, in Paris, where these two emblematic Surrealists moved among the leaders of the artistic avant-garde. In August that year, Magritte joined Dalí in Cadaqués, where the latter had his home. Their Surrealist summer – which also saw visits by Éluard, Miró, and Buñuel – would prove decisive.

Both Dalí and Magritte seek to challenge reality, questioning our ways of seeing and shaking up our certainties. In this they show fascinating similarities, despite the great differences in personality and artistic approach that would eventually see them drift apart.

The exhibition explores their personal, but also philosophical and aesthetic, connection, through more than hundred paintings, sculptures, drawings and photographs.

Outstanding cultural mediation

As always, cultural mediation represents an important part of the RMFAB’s scientific projects. In addition to the traditional visitor guide, very specific tools have been developed to help visitors understand the world of the two surrealists.

Original and innovative, the creative spaces located in the exhibition plunge the visitor into the creative process of Dalí and Magritte. Designed on the basis of archival documents, publications, photos, etc., these spaces offer everyone the opportunity to unleash their creativity in a fun and participatory way.

These creative rooms were conceived under the artistic direction of Lluis Sabadell Artiga (Cuscusian*s) in close collaboration with a core of cocreators from the different Museum departments, as well as outside parties (artists, guides, children and teachers)

The digital component is also present thanks to the "Cloud Room". Its 360° experience is inspired by Threatening Weather, a painting that Magritte created during his stay in Cadaques. The "Cloud Room" offers visitors a poetic way to discover this famous work: it is as if they have their heads in the clouds...

Audiences with special needs will discover the exhibition's key works through four tactile stations, or can join special visits in sign language, depending on their needs.

The Dalí & Magritte exhibition is held under the High Patronage of their Majesties the King and Queen and is organized by the RMFAB in collaboration with the Dalí Museum (St. Petersburg, Florida), the Gala-Salvador Dalí Foundation and the Magritte Foundation. More than 40 international museums and private collections have lent their masterpieces for this unique exhibition, which ties in with the festivities organised around the Magritte Museum's 10th anniversary.

10th anniversary of the Magritte Museum

Since its opening in 2009, the Magritte Museum has welcomed more than 3 million international visitors. Ten years after its creations, this museum, which exhibits the largest collection of art by the famous Belgian surrealist, remains undeniably a cultural, social and economic success. Founded by an innovative public-private partnership, the Magritte Museum has been able to rely on the support of the Magritte Foundation, ENGIE and ENGIE Foundation since its creation.

On Sunday 24 November 2019, the RMFAB organise a range of special festivities to celebrate the 10th anniversary of this museum, loved by Belgian and international visitors alike. This day will be the ideal occasion to discover the new selection of artworks by René Magritte, as well as the monumental installation by American artist Joseph Kosuth (cf. infra). Guided tours, literary games, performances , workshops and many other activities for all ages are planned during this colourful and festive Sunday.

Installation of an artwork by Joseph Kosuth in the Magritte Museum

As an admirer of Magritte, the American artist Joseph Kosuth (°1945), pioneer of the conceptual art movement, infused several of this works with the spirit of the celebrated surrealist. Kosuth is paying tribute to Magritte by installing an exceptional work at the Magritte Museum: ‘La signification, L'emplacement du mot dans un champ grammatical.’ (‘The Meaning, The Location of the Word in a Grammatical Field’).

The monumental work of 3.4m x 10m–now part of the collections of the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium–will be permanently exhibited on level -2 of the Magritte Museum (free access), as of 11 October 2019.

Also new at the MRBAB

Chiharu SHIOTA, Me Somewhere Else (11.10. 2019 > 09.02.2020)

Presented in the Bernheim room, Me Somewhere Else (2018) is a work of great visual strength, which occupies a very special place in the artist's production. Shiota talks about her fight against her illness, and the certainty that her mind will survive her body. Chiharu Shiota's (Osaka, 1972) spectacular installations transform the spaces in which they unfold, and immerse the visitor in the artist's universe.

The Friends of the Museums donate an artwork by Angel Vergara to the RMFAB

The association Friends of the Museums (Become a Friend) has acquired an installation by the artist Angel Vergara and donated it to the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium. This installation is composed of five large-format "painted films", evoking Charles Baudelaire's stay in Brussels in 1864. The famous poet gave five lectures there, in which he defended his conception of modernity through readings of texts, poems and improvisations.

In 2017, the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium presented Angel Vergara's work in an exhibition entitled From Scene to Scene. The donation by the Friends of the Museums, which is currently on display in the Patio, enriches the permanent collections of the RMFAB.