René MAGRITTE (1898-1967)

Lot 41
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Estimation :
30000 - 50000 EUR
Result with fees
Result : 128 000EUR
René MAGRITTE (1898-1967)
The Works of Alexander, 1963 Grease pencil drawing, signed lower left 26 x 34 cm Provenance: - Mr. Harr y Torczyner, New York, friend of the artist - Acquired from Mr. Torczyner and remained in his descendants A certificate of the Comité Magritte accompanies this work and will be given to the buyer. In the clearing, near the tree that lies felled, the part of the trunk that remained in the ground has taken hold of the woodcutter's axe. One of the gnarled roots, or rather one of the low woody buttresses, must have slowly moved and, like a bear's paw, landed on the tool of murder, held it, and will not return it again. Justice at last. An equality. A new claim. A new malaise for men. How long did it take the stump to take hold of the murderer's weapon, to immobilize it, preventing it from doing harm again? Now the infinitely slow gesture is accomplished. On the ground, held in place by a "tree paw", a paw which, unlike those of animals, once placed, does not get up again, and does not get tired, the murderous axe can no longer be released. Fascinating spectacle. The response of a being that could not respond quickly enough, that could never respond in time. In the name of the silent, the stump of the felled tree gives the belated answer. Since time immemorial, millions of trees have been felled by the axe or by the prehistoric stone axe without a single movement of resistance, without ever a protest. Here is a sobering beginning. New resisters. What will remain of the kingship over "creation"? Human anxiety will take on a new dimension. Henri Michaux, excerpt from "En rêvant à partir de peintures énigmatiques", 1972 According to Magritte, his painting evokes the mystery of the world. To reveal it, the artist often proceeds to a collision of two objects which, from the real to which they belong, leads us to the dream; from the visible to the invisible. oThe visible and the invisible... Magritte's entire work revolves around these two notions. His images try to make the invisible visible. The visible is the apparent world and the invisible, for Magritte, is not a "hidden visible", but a possibility contained in the visible. Mystery is therefore part of reality and reality cannot exist without it: "Mystery is the absolute necessity for existence to be possible". In a letter dated August 13, 1950, Julien Gracq wrote to Magritte: "For your painting, I suggest 'The Works of Alexander'. Because I don't know why I immediately think of the "Gordian knot" and perhaps in the background, the idea of the "conqueror defeated by his conquest". But that's a very irrelevant title and may only apply to me..." A branch or stump holding the axe that felled the rest of the tree is the theme of the anonymous engraved letter "A"; which opens the text of the Dictionnaire abrégé du surréalisme (Galerie des Beaux-arts, Paris, 1938).
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