Dali and Magritte Together in St. Pete

Magritte and Dali at the Dali Museum

The Dali Museum in St. Petersburg has put together a unique exhibit that combines the works of Salvador Dali and Rene Magritte, two of the world’s most illustrious Surrealists. The works in the exhibit are from the 1920s through the 1940s, when both artists were at the height of their creativity.

There are more than thirty paintings in the exhibit, as well as an interactive “cloud room” where visitors are surrounded by surrealist icons and symbols and are welcome to, not just experience the images, but to photograph and create their own surrealist works.

Magritte and Dali was organized in collaboration with the Magritte Museum, part of the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium. The exhibit runs through May 19 at the Dali Museum, after which it will travel to the Magritte Museum in Brussels.

The Dali Museum Expansion

The Dali Museum first opened in St.Petersburg, Florida in 1982. A new building, designed by architect Yann Weymouth, was constructed in 2011. The building mirrors Dali’s fantastic visions and houses a collection that includes more than 2,100 works by Salvador Dali, including paintings, drawings, prints, books, sculptures and photos.

The museum hosts over 400,000 visitors a year and is planning a $38 million, two year expansion, which would include a new wing, a parking garage, and expanded community and education spaces.

The Dali Museum is hoping that the expansion will help to make the museum, and St. Pete, a wedding and events destination.

Salvador Dali and the Marx Brothers

Salvador Dali wasn’t a household name in 1937, but his friend, Harpo Marx, was. The Marx Brothers were at the top of their game, with film hits like Duck Soup and a Night at the Opera. Dali and Harpo worked together on a screenplay, which they titled Giraffes on Horseback Salad. They presented the project to Louis B. Mayer, the head of MGM, who didn’t know what to make of the script and nixed the project.

Writer Josh Frank heard stories about the legendary script and searched for it. He found it…in a museum in France…and turned in script into a graphic novel. Giraffes on Horseback Salad was published by Random House and released in March.

Works by Salvador Dali and Rene Magritte at VFA

The works of both Surrealist masters a available at VFA. Please contact us if you would like more information about work by Salvador Dali, Rene Magritte or any of the other fine artists in our gallery.

Maggie Duffy. Here’s how an expanded Salvador Dali Museum might look. Tampa Bay Times. April 19, 2019.
Peter Breslow. Salvador Dalí Meets The Marx Brothers In ‘Giraffes On Horseback Salad’. NPR. April 7, 2019.

Rene Magritte: Missing Piece of Painting Found

Rene Magritte died in 1967, at age 68, and left an unfinished painting sitting on his easel. The fascination with his work, and with the artist himself, has never waned.

The Missing Piece of the Painting

Rene Magritte recycled. It was not an uncommon practice for him, and other artists, to save money by reusing canvasses and cutting them into pieces to fit a new work. Teams of researchers  from the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium and the European Centre of Archaeometry of the University of Liege, who have been studying Magritte’s works, found the last section of a painting that he did in 1927. La Pose enchantée (The Enchanted Pose) was exhibited in 1927. Three sections were found by researchers in other museums, hidden under other paintings, but the fourth, and final, piece was not found until late last year,  hidden under a painting called God is not a Saint, done in 1935.

Researchers at MoMA in New York, Moderna Museet in Stockholm and the Norwich Castle Museum in the UK had each found a piece of La Pose enchantée, but this find by Royal Museum completes the puzzle…except for the reason why Magritte cut it up such an interesting work in the first place.

This is Not a Biography of Magritte

Rene Magritte not only explored visual anomalies in his work, he also played with words. Magritte’s playfulness was the inspiration for Magritte: This is Not a Biographya graphic novel by Vincent Zabus and Thomas Campi and published by SelfMadeHero. The book tells the story of a man named Charles Singulier, who buys a bowler hat, like the one seen in many of Magritte’s paintings, and meets characters from Magritte’s paintings who come to life and tell him that he’ll have to wear the bowler forever unless he uncovers some of the secrets of Magritte’s life. Charles moves in and out of Magritte’s paintings, telling the artist’s story in a whimsical biography.

Rene Magritte’s Way With Words

Surrealist writing, like Surrealist art, was used to express spontaneous thoughts, without worrying about logic or reality. Also called Automatic Writing, it was based on the theories of Sigmund Freud, and was meant to release the ideas and imagination of the subconscious mind.

Magritte wrote often, both prose and poems, and much of his writing has been published in Rene Magritte, Selected Writings. The writings as far back as the 1920s, and are as mysterious, visual and dreamlike as his paintings:

She goes into the woods. It is bathed in twilight. Trunks and branches gleam, vague and silvery.

She goes forward slowly as if she is weary. Soon she hesitates, stops, lies down on a bed of fallen leaves.

A shout is heard in the distance, a woman’s name.

With eyes wide open she stares at a broken branch hanging on by a few threads to a huge tree.

One of her hands has closed round the object she dropped when she lay down. Through her light dress you can make out her woman’s body. Her pale face expresses extreme weariness.

Rene Magritte, Selected Writings is edited by Kathleen Rooney and Eric Plattner and translated by Jo Levy, is published by University of Minnesota Press.

Rene Magritte Lithographs at VFA

Please contact us if you would like more information about the works of Rene Magritte available at VFA.

See More Rene Magritte Work for Sale

Barry Schwabsky. A Painter Speaks, so that His Paintings Can Remain Silent. Hyper allergic. April 23, 2017.
Daly Alberge. Magritte’s missing nudes found hidden under paintings after 80 years. The Guardian. October 3, 2013.
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