Magritte draws a crowd

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More than 70 people attended the Friends of the Alameda Free Library’s August 13 Docent Lecture at the Main Library. The topic was SFMOMA’s “Rene Magritte: The Fifth Season.” Docent Avril Angevine gave a detailed account of the Belgian artist‘s life and career, pointing out that, except for a short period in Paris during World War II, he lived his entire life in Brussels.

While the influence of  Magritte’s earlier countrymen such as Rubens and Bosch was great, Angervine explained that Magritte was focused on providing an alternative to the fashionable styles of late nineteenth and early twentieth century art. Impressionism and Cubism, with their emphasis on technique, or “how to paint,” gave way in Magritte’s work to the importance of the object being painted, or “what to paint.” Angevine provided almost 90 minutes worth of slides and discussion showing how Magritte’s cleverness and impeccable draftsmanship made one really look at the subject of the work.

The next docent lecture in the popular series will be October 15 at 6:30 p.m. at the Main Library. The topic will be the Asian Art Museum’s “Timeless Traditions: Expressions of Divine and Human in Indian Art.”

–David Beall