Latrobe Regional Gallery to host world-class Magritte exhibition

Posted on 7 June 2017


Befitting the $1.51million renovations to the Latrobe Regional Gallery in Morwell the world-class exhibition of photographs and films by major Belgian Surrealist, René Magritte will raise the bar for art in our region and the state.

In announcing the forthcoming exhibition, the Latrobe City mayor, Councillor Kellie O'Callaghan, said it was an important step for a community in transition, and would provide a significant boost for the region.

“This exhibition will attract visitors from the region and beyond, including interstate and international art lovers.

“It will not only provide enjoyment locally, it will help raise morale, increase the region’s profile, and bring economic benefits to local businesses through greater visitation.

“The Latrobe City Council is delighted to welcome the Magritte exhibition as the first exciting outcome of the Latrobe Regional Gallery’s successful renovation program, supported by the Council’s vision for a Strength Led Transition,” Cr O’Callaghan said. 

Director of the Latrobe Regional Gallery, Dr Mark Themann, said the Magritte exhibition, René Magritte: The Revealing Image, 19 August – 19 November 2017, was a significant coup for the Gallery.

“This is an exhibition of international standing that puts Latrobe Regional Gallery on the global art map.

“Locals and visitors to the region will have the opportunity to experience an impressive artistic event in a facility that is purpose-built to stage exhibitions of the highest calibre.

“The Magritte exhibition sets a high standard for art in the region, and is not to be missed,” Dr Themann said.

René Magritte: The Revealing Image will feature 132 original photographs by Magritte and eight films.  The majority of the works have never been exhibited outside Europe. Staged in collaboration with the Magritte Foundation Belgium, the exhibition is described by Chief Curator, Xavier Canonne, as a rare cultural treasure.

“The photographs and films were created as works of art by Magritte, one of the signature Western artists of the 20th Century.

“The works were discovered in the mid-1970s, more than 10 years after the artist’s death, and have contributed significantly to our appreciation of Magritte’s wider oeuvre.

“Magritte used photography and film for a range of purposes, including as exemplars for paintings and commercial work, circumventing the need for live models, improvising scenes with friends, and recording family events and images of other Brussels Surrealists.

“These photographs and films are pervaded by the spirit of Magritte, making them inseparable from his famous paintings,” M. Canonne said.

The Latrobe City Council contributed $740,000 towards the Gallery renovation, with a further   $770,000 funded by the Latrobe Valley Authority as part of the State Government's $266 million transition funding.

The renovations have involved a total revamp of the building, externally and internally, to bring it up to a standard required to host world-class exhibitions.
Aesthetic changes to the building have included a new facade, open foyer and new lighting, with some major works behind the scenes to enable the special handling of valuable art work.

Storage, shelving and climate control systems at the Gallery have been upgraded to accommodate major exhibitions which are expected to attract tens of thousands of new visitors.

It was also announced today that, following the Magritte exhibition, the Latrobe Regional Gallery will stage another major international exhibition, titled MINE/The Film will always be with you, 30 September - 3 December 2017.  The exhibition, which originates from the Tate Modern Museum, London, will feature contemporary South African video art by a collection of well-known artists, including William Kentridge.

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