Attentive to avant-garde art, Magritte is subjugated in 1923 by an image of the Canto d'amore, a surrealist work painted in 1914 by De Chirico. Ordinary objects constitute a poetic universe if their positioning is absurd.
On March 29 in Paris, Sotheby's sells La salle d'armes, oil and industrial painting on jute canvas 78 x 63 cm painted by Magritte in 1925 or 1926, lot 411 estimated € 700K.
The room proper is the interior of an elongated cube, totally symmetrical with perfect perspective lines. The only decoration is the large target in four concentric rings on the back wall. The only furniture is a coffee table. The X-ray inspection reveals that La salle d'armes had overpainted a geometric abstraction, a style that no longer suits Magritte's fancy.
No gun or arrow is visible but a heap of figs lies on the table. The absurd dimension is very simply ensured by the bust of a woman that hangs upside down from the ceiling and whose base overflows the upper stripe of the false frame. In the surrealist world of De Chirico, the marble bust was symbolizing the actuality of antiquity.
From 1926 Magritte observes that an image of an object remains an image and is not the object. He begins to confront the drawing of his pipe with the word 'pipe' or with an abstraction. In 1929 La trahison des images is an artistic manifesto of a sublime simplicity, in just six words: "Ceci n'est pas une pipe."
In the same period Miro also was appreciating that the new poetic dimension of modern art was a personal work that could not be attached to a movement and even less to a political affiliation.
SOLD for € 850K including premium