A Modern Funhouse With Surreal Drama: René Magritte at SFMOMA

May 20, 2018 - Oct 28, 2018SFMOMA, San Francisco

Are we comparing apples to apples or apples to oranges? In the case of René Magritte, it’s both. He paints, and we ponder. But it’s a pleasure to do the pondering. This Saturday, May 20th marks the exclusive opening at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art of Rene Magritte: The Fifth Season, which features 20 paintings never before seen in the U.S.

Starting with his reaction to the War, where he wonders about the meaning of liberation, the show begins with his Renoir/Sunlit Surrealism period, “full of pleasure and flower-power … what we need more of today,” as described by Michel Draguet, Director of the Musees royaux des Beaux-Arts de Belgique in Brussels. It moves on to the Vache period (his "Fuck You" to Paris, says Draguet) followed by giant boulders, roses, and apples, of course. Wend your way into "The Enchanted Domain" feels like stepping into the Land of OZ, When Doves Cry and Eyes Wide Shut all in one room. "The Dominion of Light" presents a drama in several acts, followed by the soaring "Gravity and Flight." And a thoroughly modern funhouse at the end will leave you truly immersed – in delight. René Magritte: the Fifth Season runs through October 28, 2018.––Gwynned Vitello