press release

Le miroir vivant (1928) by René Magritte is one of a small series of word paintings the Belgian artist made in the early years of his career. With its exclusive use of semantics it is considered an experimental work: four interconnected cloudlike white shapes each featuring a short, enigmatic text. The words "personnage éclatant de rire" (person roaring with laughter), "armoire" (closet), "horizon" and "cris d'oiseaux" (birds' calls) evoke familiar yet uncanny personal associations.

Working closely together, curator Francesco Stocchi and American artist Alex Da Corte have taken Le miroir vivant's provocation as their starting point in creating an immersive tableau using the Boijmans' collection as raw material: nearly fifty paintings, sculptures, photographs and videos by artists such as Cady Noland, Marcel Broodthaers, Jim Shaw, Gilbert and George, Alexandra Bircken, Carel Visser, Domenico Gnoli, Barbara Hepworth, Duane Hanson, David Hockney, and others.

The exhibition unveils some of the lesser known post-war works in the collection and weaves them into an intensely theatrical environment.