Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Magritte Exhibition in Seoul

I went to the Seoul Museum of Art last week to see the Rene Magritte exhibition that has opened recently. He is one of my favourite artists, so it was a treat to see his works here in Seoul.

The show includes not only a number of his paintings in a variety of styles (Impressionist, Surrealist and Vache) but also many photos of the artist and his family. These are reproduced in tiny prints, some no bigger than a postage stamp, which made them difficult to see. Also exhibited are examples of the posters he produced while working as a graphic artist.

In the fourth and final gallery, eight of his home movies are on show, most of them were shot on 8mm black and white film. For the exhibition they have been poorly digitised, and to make matters worse, these grainy images are greatly enlarged and projected onto screens on - er - the floor ! They are difficult to see and the perspective is distorted, so I watched very few of them. Still, I am sure there are serious artistic reasons for the unusual presentation. I am sure they will turn up on YouTube some day where they will be easier to watch!

Tickets cost 10,000 won (not 700 won as in the Joong Ang Daily ) and the exhibition is on until April 1st 2007. The museum is a few minutes walk from City Hall subway station.

Magritte is not the only western art on show here in Seoul. The Bat and I visited the Louvre exhibition at the National Museum of Korea last month. The Korean museum, which celebrates its first year anniversary, is exhibiting over one hundred paintings from the French national museum's collection. The exhibition marks the 120th anniversary of establishing diplomatic ties between the two countries.

The exhibition ends on March 18 2007. Tickets cost 10,000 won.

The Louvre has been in the news recently regarding the creation of a new museum in Abu Dhabi. It seems a number of the French are up in arms about sharing their art with the rest of the world. They would prefer to keep it in storage in France since they don't have enough space to display it, rather then lend it out to other museums. They setup a petition about it too. Let's hope they see some sense and do not prevent this type of lending. The tens of thousands of Koreans that have flooded to see the exhibition in Seoul would seem to indicate that they appreciate being able to see these artworks without having to travel to Europe.


Gary said...

Awesome information, Jon. These are some interesting exhibits that we are going to visit.

Aaron said...

Were Georgette and the dog there, too, or has the war not finished yet? Sorry, I'm a lousy connoisseur of art.

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Whitey said...

I saw the Magritte show, too. There was some great stuff in there.

However, as you mentioned, the final room, which contained the films, was weak.

Ever notice how you rarely see Korean men at museums? On the other hand, it is a great place to see single women. And art lovers are my type.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the review. I'm going with a friend to check it out today.

Did you catch "Van Gogh to Picasso," the impressionist, post-impressionist display at the Seoul Arts Center?

13,000 won for just over 90 works was a bit steep, but what other opportunities are there to see art here?