René Magritte, Le fils de l'homme (The Son of Man), 1964 (detail); private collection; © 2017 C. Herscovici / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York; photo: Banque d'Images, ADAGP / Art Resource, NY

Exhibition

René Magritte

The Fifth Season

May 19–October 28, 2018

Floor 4

René Magritte (1898–1967) was one of the most intriguing painters associated with Surrealism, but he did not fully find his voice until after breaking ties with the movement. This exhibition, the first to look exclusively at Magritte’s late career, examines his most important bodies of work from the 1940s through the 1960s, and shows how they marked a fundamental shift in painting from Modernism to our own time.

Featuring more than 70 artworks in nine immersive, thematic galleries, René Magritte: The Fifth Season explores how Magritte balanced irony and conviction, philosophy and fantasy, to illuminate the gaps between what we see and what we know. Together, the works reveal Magritte as an artist acutely attuned to the paradoxes at work within reality, and an enduring champion of the role of mystery in life and art.

Lead support for René Magritte: The Fifth Season is provided by Carolyn and Preston Butcher.

Major support is provided by The Bernard Osher Foundation and Pat Wilson.

The Bernard Osher Foundation


Generous support is provided by Jim Breyer, Jean and James E. Douglas, Jr., Jacqueline Evans, Linda and Jon Gruber, Melinda and Kevin P.B. Johnson, Sir Deryck and Lady Va Maughan, the Lisa and John Pritzker Family Fund, Nancy and Alan Schatzberg, Lydia Shorenstein, Sheri and Paul Siegel, Shannon and Dennis Wong, and Kay Harrigan Woods.

Additional support is provided by the Robert Lehman Foundation.

This exhibition is supported by an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities and in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.

NEA logo

In-kind support for the design and development of the interpretive gallery is provided by frog.

Frog logo

Tickets for this special exhibition are now available. Learn more about timed tickets for special exhibitions.

Members may reserve a limited number of free tickets over the run of the exhibition: 8 for Individual, 16 for Dual and above. Daily member restrictions apply.

René Magritte: The Fifth Season is a timed and surcharged exhibition. The ticket price includes access to all areas of the museum. Prices may vary by day.

Header image:

René Magritte, Le fils de l'homme (The Son of Man), 1964 (detail); private collection; © 2017 C. Herscovici / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York; photo: Banque d'Images, ADAGP / Art Resource, NY

Exhibition Preview

  • A man in a bowler hat standing in front of a cloudy sky with a green apple covering his face

    René Magritte, Le fils de l'homme (The Son of Man), 1964; private collection; © Charly Herscovici, Brussels / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York; photo: Banque d'Images, ADAGP / Art Resource, NY

  • A large green glass wineglass, a match, and pill on two overlapping persian rugs in a room with walls painted like a cloudy sky and also containing a bed with a giant comb and a mirrored armoire with a large shaving brush on top

    René Magritte, Les valeurs personnelles (Personal Values), 1952; collection SFMOMA, purchase through a gift of Phyllis C. Wattis; © Charly Herscovici, Brussels / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

  • Surreal landscape with plants shaped like doves and a dusk street scene with a daytime sky

    René Magritte, Le domaine enchanté I (The Enchanted Domain I), 1953; Würth Collection, Künzelsau, Germany; © Charly Herscovici, Brussels / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York; photo: Banque d'Images, ADAGP / Art Resource, NY

  • Street scene of a home at dusk with a lit street lamp and a bright daytime sky above

    René Magritte, L’empire des lumières (The Dominion of Light), 1954; Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice; © Charly Herscovici, Brussels / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

  • A cloudy seascape with the silhouette of a flying dove rising from the horizon to reveal blue skies

    René Magritte, La grande famille (The Great Family), 1963; Utsunomiya Museum of Art, Japan; © © Charly Herscovici, Brussels / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York; photo: Banque d'Images, ADAGP / Art Resource, NY

  • An evening scene of a house surrounded by trees is contained within the silouette a man in a bowler hat, standing in front of a stone balcony

    René Magritte, L’heureux donateur (The Happy Donor), 1966; Musée d’Ixelles, Brussels; ©© Charly Herscovici, Brussels / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York; photo: © Community Museum of Ixelles

  • A large gray boulder on a wooden floor next to an open door overlooking a veranda with an ocean view

    René Magritte, Le monde invisible (The Invisible World), 1954; The Menil Collection, Houston; ©© Charly Herscovici, Brussels / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York; photo: Hickey-Robertson, Houston

  • A wine bottle painted light a blue sky filled with fluffy white clouds

    René Magritte, La courbure de l’univers (The Curvature of the Universe), 1950; the Menil Collection, Houston; ©© Charly Herscovici, Brussels / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York; photo: Paul Hester

  • Curling plant sprouting many different types of brightly colored flowers against an impressionistic sky

    René Magritte, La préméditation (Forethought), 1943; Koons Collection; © ©Charly Herscovici, Brussels / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

  • A blooming red rose fills a room with a large, curtained window

    René Magritte, Le tombeau des lutteurs (The Tomb of the Wrestlers), 1960; private collection; © Charly Herscovici, Brussels / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

  • Painting easel against a window, holding a canvas that seems to perfectly match the cityscape behind

    René Magritte, Les promenades d’Euclide (Where Euclid Walked), 1955; Minneapolis Institute of Art, The William Hood Dunwoody Fund; ©© Charly Herscovici, Brussels / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York; photo: Minneapolis Institute of Art


Exhibition Catalogue

Featuring full-color plates of approximately 50 oil paintings, and a dozen of the artist’s gouaches, René Magritte: The Fifth Season offers a new understanding of Magritte’s special position in the history of 20th-century art.