All the Magritte worlds

René Magritte, The Dominion of Light, 1950; oil on canvas; The Museum of Modern Art, New York, gift of D. and J. de Menil; © Charly Herscovici, Brussels / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

René Magritte: The Fifth Season
—presented exclusively at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) from May 19 through October 28, 2018—focuses on the latter half of Magritte’s career, from approximately 1943 to 1967, a period of remarkable transformation and revitalization for the artist. With loans from North and South America, Europe and Asia, it is the most complete presentation of Magritte’s late work mounted since the artist’s death in 1967.
René Magritte: The Fifth Season builds on SFMOMA’s longstanding relationship with the Magritte Museum in Brussels, Belgium. Curated by Caitlin Haskell, associate curator of painting and sculpture at SFMOMA, it was developed in partnership with the Magritte Foundation.

René Magritte, The Anniversary, 1959; oil on canvas; Art Gallery of Ontario, purchase, Corporations’ Subscription Endowment; © Charly Herscovici, Brussels / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

A key highlight of the exclusive SFMOMA presentation is a collection of five rarely seen canvases from The Enchanted Domain (1953), Magritte’s monumental 360-degree panorama and his largest work. Adjacent to The Enchanted Domain is an astounding selection of works entitled The Dominion of Light. Depicting nighttime landscapes with broad daylight skyscapes, the works in this series show day and night co-existing seamlessly in a scene that Magritte portrayed more than 20 times during his career. Until now, no more than three of these paintings have been exhibited together. This exhibition offers the first opportunity to experience the series simultaneously, in a fully immersive gallery with seven unique depictions, including two monumental canvases that have never previously left Europe.

René Magritte, The Enchanted Domain I, 1953; oil on canvas; Würth Collection, Künzelsau, Germany; © Charly Herscovici, Brussels / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

A longtime leader in using digital content to engage audiences, SFMOMA presents the Magritte Interpretive Gallery.
This gallery at the conclusion of René Magritte: The Fifth Season invites audiences to enter and experience Magritte’s worlds and philosophies through six augmented reality interactions. Utilizing advanced depth-sensing cameras and motion-tracking technology to create an immersive environment, SFMOMA and frog enable visitors to investigate Magritte’s themes through a series of altered and augmented windows. In some, the windows function as digital mirrors in which the viewers’ reflections do not behave as expected. In others, the visitors’ presence in front of the window opens a portal into another reality. Looking past the two-dimensional plane, the Magritte Interpretive Gallery adds a third dimension in which human perception may be manipulated through motion, altered visuals and 3D software. The result is an experience that complements the exhibition, in which visitors can gain a deeper understanding of Magritte’s art, and explore visual perceptions of the world and each another.

Augmenting Fine Art with SFMOMA from frog design on Vimeo.


René Magritte, The Curvature of the Universe, 1950; oil on glass bottle; The Menil Collection, Houston; © Charly Herscovici, Brussels / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
René Magritte, Son of Man, 1964; oil on canvas; private collection; © Charly Herscovici, Brussels / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
René Magritte, The Happy Donor, 1966; oil on canvas; Musée d’Ixelles, Brussels; © Charly Herscovici, Brussels / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York