Magritte patiently built his universe with images of objects that intersect, merge, overlap, repeat in an endless game. In real life, he blends into the banality by wearing the suit, the tie and the bowler hat of Mr. Everybody.
The man and the woman have different roles. The woman is naked, full front, ready to merge into an antique marble. Unlike her, the man with the bowler hat very rarely displays his face, hidden by the invading flight of an apple or a bird. There are no self-portraits, except when this theme has been explicitly ordered by a client, because the artist has abolished any difference between himself and the others.
On February 27 in London, Christie's sells as lot 108 Le Lieu commun, oil on canvas 100 x 81 cm painted in 1964. The press release of November 5 announced an estimate between £ 15M and £ 25M. Please watch the video prepared by the auction house.
In a composition cut up like disparate strips of wallpaper, the man with the bowler hat appears twice. On the left he is in front with his banal face fully visible. On the right, limited to the nape of the neck, the ear and the back of the jacket, he leaves the stage.
The man is there but he is nowhere. The right portion scrolls smoothly between the edge of the wall and the landscape, but the left portrait is truncated by the same piece of landscape in front of a similar wall. If we re-assemble these two pieces, the head would be complete.
Like Escher and his impossible figures, Magritte abolishes the three-dimensional logic. At the same time, he is preparing his masterpiece of this kind, titled Le blanc-seing, showing a horse and its riding woman cut by the forest.
SOLD for £ 18.4M including premium