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Paul Delvaux, le rêveur éveillé


Magritte has always monopolised Belgian Surrealism. Once a museum named after him opened in the heart of Brussels there was no end to this ’dictatorship’. Yet we know the country has many artists in this school: Marcel Mariën, Louis Scutenaire, E.L.T. Mesens and Marcel Broodthaers. Delvaux though, Magritte’s elder, reappears periodically, like a locomotive coming out of a tunnel. This catalogue, which accompanies the exhibition at the Cantini museum in Marseille, based on the collection of the museum of Ixelles, lists the major sources of inspiration the artist with the amazing longevity (he died in 1994 at age 97). First and foremost, trams, stations and trains, preferably at night; then, female nudes, ethereal and mysterious, placed between columns and staircases; Last were the bones, all you can get. They remind the viewer of the monsters from Spitzner’s ’wunderkammer’, which fascinated him at the Foire du Midi in Brussels. One has forgotten the subversive power of these paintings, which throw in together Antiquity with Chirico’s metaphysics. During the biennale in Venice in 1956, his skeletons caused -word has it- the fury of cardinal Roncalli, the future pope John XXIII…

Paul Delvaux, le rêveur éveillé, Snoeck, 2014, 172 p., €30.

Paul Delvaux, le rêveur éveillé - Collective

Review published in the newsletter #351 - from 19 June 2014 to 25 June 2014

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