Magritte: The Mystery of the Ordinary, 1926–1938

René Magritte. _Various case materials related to La Révolution surréaliste_ (December 1929)

René Magritte. Various case materials related to La Révolution surréaliste (December 1929)

Narrator: This case contains several of Magritte's contributions to the December 1929 issue of the journal La Revolution Surrealiste. These include an essay called “Words and Images,” displayed here in its manuscript form and as it was published.

Curator, Anne Umland : I'd really urge you to take a close look at the manuscript: these tiny drawings, the way that he revised words, his instructions for the printer. All of these things are such rare evidence in Magritte's work of his process and, in this case, of this high degree of attention and care that he brought to the layout of what is, in fact, a manifesto for him of his visual strategies up to that point.

Narrator: The issue also included a reproduction of Magritte’s painting, The Hidden Woman, surrounded by photos of sixteen Surrealists with their eyes closed.

Director of the Menil Collection, Josef Helfenstein: It goes back to the Surrealist roots--this strong interest in dreams as a resource for creativity, dreams as expressions of the unregulated mind, not the rational way of creating images and creating literature too.

Narrator: This issue of La Revolution Surrealiste began with writer André Breton’s Second Surrealist Manifesto, which outlined a theoretical shift from the earlier years of the movement.

Anne Umland: By the later 1920s, the shift of the group is away from more individualistic, self-absorbed practices and towards collective action, group participation, taking a stance in terms of larger real-world political and social issues.

Narrator: Magritte’s prominent contributions to the journal signified his acceptance into the Paris group.

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