Image credit: René Magritte, The Giant (Le Géant), 1937. Paul Nougé on the Belgian Coast. Private collection, Courtesy Brachot Gallery, Brussels

Media Release 7 June 2017

The $1.51 million renovations to the Latrobe Regional Gallery in Morwell will be officially opened in August this year with the hosting of a world-class exhibition of photographs and films, never before seen in Australia, by major Belgian Surrealist, René Magritte.

Director of the Latrobe Regional Gallery, Dr Mark Themann, said the Magritte exhibition, René Magritte: The Revealing Image, Photos and Films, 19 August – 19 November 2017, was a significant coup for the Gallery.

“This is an exhibition of international standing that puts our newly-renovated Gallery on the global art map.

“Locals and visitors to the region will have the opportunity to experience an impressive artistic event in a facility that is purpose-built to stage exhibitions of the highest calibre.

“The Magritte exhibition raises the bar for art in the region, and is not to be missed,” Dr Themann said.

René Magritte: The Revealing Image, Photos and Films will feature 132 original photographs by Magritte, and 8 films. The majority of the works have never been exhibited outside Europe.

Staged in collaboration with the Magritte Foundation Belgium, the exhibition is described by Chief Curator, Xavier Canonne, as a rare cultural treasure.

“The photographs and films were created as works of art by Magritte, one of the signature Western artists of the 20th Century.

“The works were discovered in the mid-1970s, more than 10 years after the artist’s death, and have contributed significantly to our appreciation of Magritte’s wider oeuvre.

“Magritte used photography and film for a range of purposes, including as exemplars for paintings and commercial work, circumventing the need for live models, improvising scenes with friends, and recording family events and images of other Brussels Surrealists.

“These photographs and films are pervaded by the spirit of Magritte, making them inseparable from his famous paintings,” Mr Canonne said.

In announcing the forthcoming exhibition, the Latrobe City Mayor, Councillor Kellie O’Callaghan, said it was an important step for a community in transition, and would provide a significant boost for the region.

“This exhibition will attract visitors from the region and beyond, including interstate and international art lovers.

“It will not only provide enjoyment locally, it will help raise morale, increase the region’s profile, and bring economic benefits to local businesses through greater visitation.

“The Latrobe City Council is delighted to welcome the Magritte exhibition as the first exciting outcome of the Latrobe Regional Gallery’s successful renovation program, supported by the Council’s vision for a Strength Led Transition,” Cr O’Callaghan said.

The Latrobe City Council contributed $740,000 towards the Gallery renovation, with a further   $770,000 funded by the Latrobe Valley Authority as part of the State Government’s $266 million transition funding.

The renovations have involved a total revamp of the building, externally and internally, to bring it up to a standard required to host world-class exhibitions.

Aesthetic changes to the building have included a new facade, open foyer and new lighting, with some major works behind the scenes to enable the special handling of valuable art work.

Storage, shelving and climate control systems at the Gallery have been upgraded to accommodate major exhibitions which are expected to attract tens of thousands of new visitors.

It was also announced today that, following the Magritte exhibition, the Latrobe Regional Gallery will stage another major international exhibition, titled MINE/The Film will always be with you, 30 September – 3 December 2017.  A version of this exhibition of South African video art was previously shown at the Tate Modern Museum, London, and has now been expanded to feature a wider selection of artists, some well-known including William Kentridge.

ENDS

Media Contact:

For further information and to request interviews and images please contact:
Katrina Raymond, MediaLink Productions T: (03) 9663 3222 M: 0417 303 158
katrina@medialinkproductions.com

Lisa Mawson, Coordinator Communications, Latrobe City Council, T: (03) 5128 5458 Mobile: 0408 078 528 Lisa.Mawson@latrobe.vic.gov.au

Available for interview:
Mark Themann, Director, Latrobe Regional Gallery
Cr Kellie O’Callaghan, Mayor, Latrobe City Council
Xavier Canonne, Chief curator, René Magritte: The Revealing Image and Director Museum for Photography Charleroi, Belgium [available by skype + in Australia from 12 August 2017]
Images available on request.

Major Publication: René Magritte: The Revealing Image by Xavier Canonne is a 263 page publication published by Ludion + distributed globally by Thames & Hudson.
Review copies available upon request.

Latrobe Regional Gallery 138 Commercial Road, Morwell T: +61 3 5128 5700
Extended Opening Hours: Monday to Thursday 10am-5pm; Friday 10am-7pm
Saturday and Sunday 10am-5pm; Public Holidays closed.

Ticketing:
Tickets from $10 – $18, available online:
https://latroberegionalgallery.com/rene-magritte-exhibition or at the LRG door.
Group bookings welcome. For bookings of 10 or more people, please book direct with Latrobe Regional Gallery on 03 5128 5700.

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