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Rene Magritte
Rene Magritte’s illustrations for Madame Edwarda, 1946, in "René Magritte: The Pleasure Principle" at Tate Liverpool

MAGRITTE’S DIRTY PICTURES AT TATE LIVERPOOL

June 2, 2011

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The 100-work retrospective of Belgian surrealist René Magritte at the Tate Liverpool, “René Magritte: The Pleasure Principle,” June 24-Oct. 16, 2011, presents a full range of the artist’s iconic Surrealist images, of course, but it also includes something special -- a little-known series of erotic illustrations, displayed in the U.K. for the first time.

The six erotic drawings -- among them a trench-coated man walking into a cartoonishly oversized vagina, and a flying penis with wings -- were done in 1946 to accompany the short story Madame Edward byFrench philosopher and abject-art theorist Georges Bataille. The tale revolves around a man who becomes obsessed with a prostitute he thinks is God.

According to the museum, the erotica are consonant with Magritte’s brash, experimental “vache” period of the late 1940s, as are his similarly rare commercial works, a selection of which will also be on view. The drawings will be shown in a separate room marked by an adult-content warning.

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Rene Magritte
Rene Magritte’s illustrations for Madame Edwarda, 1946, in "René Magritte: The Pleasure Principle" at Tate Liverpool